The people of Mexico are not completely unfamiliar with earthquakes by any means, but the majority of the ones near Los Cabos don’t do much damage, but you never know when they might. This is why it is important to heed the advice of Los Cabos authorities when they warn tourists to be on alert for both quakes and aftershocks, as they have after the most recent earthquake that took place. The earthquake occurred this past Tuesday, November 29th, just before 4:00 in the afternoon and registered as a 4.9 magnitude quake.
The epicenter of the most recent earthquake was only about 200 miles south of Cabo San Lucas, a city in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. Cabo San Lucas is part of Los Cabos, along with San Jose del Cabo, both of which are very popular vacation destinations, particularly among American tourists. Baja California Sur is part of the Baja California Peninsula, which is attached to the U.S. State of California, another place known for its seismic activity.
Los Cabos Earthquakes – Information For Travelers
It is not uncommon for earthquakes to occur off of the coast of the Baja California Peninsula, even as south as Cabo San Lucas. This is due to the location of the peninsula near two separate fault systems that both affect the region. But typically, other parts of the peninsula deal with stronger tremors that can cause significant damage and loss of life, although there have been some fairly strong earthquakes that have affected Los Cabos in the past.
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There have actually been hundreds of earthquakes in or around Cabo San Lucas since 1900, but the majority of them seem to be between a 4.0 – 5.0 magnitude. Earlier this month, there was a fairly strong quake off of the coast of Baja California, a 6.9 magnitude, but it was not close enough to Los Cabos to cause any damage. The earthquake couldn’t even be significantly felt by people in San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas.
In October, a 5.5 magnitude quake was recorded less than 100 miles off of the coast of San Jose del Cabo on Sunday the 2nd at around 1:00 in the afternoon. This one was definitely felt because people in the tourist destination at the time reported it on Twitter. At the time, there were still no reports of significant damages or injuries, but like now, authorities did warn tourists about aftershocks.
Aftershocks following an initial earthquake are not uncommon, but they are usually much weaker than the original quake. The problem is if damage has been done by an earthquake, the following aftershock(s) can exacerbate the problem. Earthquakes themselves don’t usually last longer than around 30 seconds, so anything felt after the quaking for that initial 30 seconds is likely an aftershock.
An aftershock can be felt as far as 20 miles away from where an original earthquake occurs, and like in the case of earthquakes themselves, there is no warning sign to tell us when an aftershock is coming. But there are a few things you should do following an earthquake to help keep you safe if an aftershock does follow.
- Stay calm.
- Inspect your unit for any signs of damage.
- If there is damage, get to a safe place.
- Stay clear of objects that can fall.
- Stay away from the beach, on higher ground.
The chances of a devastating earthquake or aftershock affecting Los Cabos during your vacation are pretty minimal, but it doesn’t hurt to have a plan. And you should always take the advice of authorities when one does occur.
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