Earthquake in Mexico - 21 Jan 2003

Report of 22 January 2003, 8:00 a.m.
According to information from the National Center for the Prevention of Disasters (CENAPRED), at 20:07 hours (Mexico time), there was an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 in the Richter scale; the epicenter was located in the coast Colima in the Pacific Ocean. Aftershocks of 4-4.5 were also felt.

The earthquake was also felt in Jalisco, Nayarit, Michoacán, Guerrero, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Hidalgo, Querétaro, Puebla, Tlaxcala, Guanajuato and Mexico City.

The Federal Government issued a state of emergency for the State of Colima, the most affected by the earthquake.


According the Civil Protection of Colima, there were 23 deaths, more than 160 injured, and an unknown number of homes were damaged in the 10 municipalities of Colima.

The injured are being treated at the Regional University Hospital and the Hospital of the Mexican Institute for Social Security, as well as in private clinics.

Damages were reported at the hospitals of the Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers and the Mexican Institute for Social Security, were several areas were evacuated; however emergency services are still operational.

Sixteen blocks of the historic center of the capital of Colima sustained severe damages. It was necessary to establish three shelters in that city, in addition to two in the municipality of Armería and one in Comala.

It has been informed that the main highway of Colima and its two airports are functioning without problems,

This morning (January 22) there will be a meeting to assess damages and implement a plan to offer support to the affected population.


Two supporting walls collapsed in the municipality of Zapotitlán de Badillo, killing two people, including an 18-month old toddler.

Until midnight there had been no reports of injured or considerable damage in the metropolitan center of Guadalajara; however the Fire squads are still monitoring the area to avoid any negative incident.

Mexico City

Preliminary reports indicated four damaged buildings in the district of Cuauhtémoc; three street lights toppled, one in Iztacalco and two in Azcapotzalco; the underground train suspended service for five minutes.

During inspections to reestablish energy, an employee of the electric company was killed by an electric discharge.

The Program on Epidemiological Emergencies and Disasters of the National Center for Epidemiological Surveillance at the Ministry of Health sent two experts last night to the State of Colima to give support in the coordination and humanitarian assistance efforts of the health sector. This morning, 5 medical teams will be dispatched with medicines to support health assistance in the areas affected by the earthquake.