Potent Mexico City earthquake was a rare ‘bending’ quake, study finds – and it could happen again

Six months have passed since a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City, toppling 40 buildings and killing over 300, but the memory remains fresh.
Condemned structures dot many neighborhoods, their facades crumbling. And after an earthquake 225 miles away in Oaxaca state shook the capital city again on Feb. 16, 2018, the city mayor said hospitals treated dozens of people for panic attacks.
Seismologists, too, are still studying the Sept. 19 earthquake, trying to better understand what’s happening underneath Mexico City. Our new paper in Geophysical Research Letters brings critical findings to light.
Since the damaging quake, we have been analyzing data from the national network of seismological sensors, as well as high-quality GPS stations around the country. Together, these instruments measure shaking across Mexico. We wanted to

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