Mexico earthquake triggers ‘desert tsunami’ 1,500 miles away in Death Valley cave 2 years after 9/11
It’s been two years since a massive earthquake rocked Mexico, leaving hundreds dead and billions of dollars in damage.
Now the nation is coping with a new disaster – after the epicenter of the earthquake also collapsed in an underground, remote cave in Death Valley, the place where the world’s first known desertejada – a phenomenon in which a cave collapses on its own – occurred.
The 8.1-magnitude quake – one of the most powerful ever recorded in the world – hit an area that includes several major tourist attractions, including the Sea of Cortez in Santa Barbara, and the San Jacinto Mountains in San Diego.
It triggered a massive tsunami that flooded coastal California for almost 16 miles (26 kilometers), killing 13 people and causing a new record for the deadliest tsunami wave in the US, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.
Mexico’s emergency services were overwhelmed with victims arriving at coastal hotels and shelters, and people living in coastal areas were ordered to evacuate by local authorities and schools were closed. As a result, hundreds of people were stranded on the Pacific side of Mexico’s Pacific Ocean until the quake’s aftershocks were felt, which lasted for weeks.
In the week and a half that has passed since the magnitude 7.1 quake, hundreds of people have died in Mexico, according to official estimates by Mexican authorities, which are now struggling to respond to the tsunami. As of early August, the number of dead has reached 9,058, officials said.
The tsunami, which was felt around the country, caused damage to some 50,000 houses and resulted in the deaths of almost 300 people.
The epicenter of the earthquake and the tsunami were located in the southern central state of Chiapas, more than 2,200 miles (3,900 kilometers) from the nation’s ocean coast.
The new disaster prompted authorities in Mexico