Mexico City Hit by Major Earthquake; Airport Reopens

Sep 19, 2017

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With Hurricane Harvey flooding Houston, Hurricane Irma’s destruction across the Caribbean and now Hurricane Maria bearing down on Puerto Rico, it’s been a terrible month of natural disasters in the Americas. Unfortunately, another one has just struck.

Mexico City was rattled by a major 7.1 magnitude earthquake Tuesday afternoon. The quake — whose epicenter was 76 miles away from the city in Rabosa — has caused substantial damage across the region, at least 42 deaths, and a vast, as yet untold amount of damage.

Incredible video captured tourists visiting the World Heritage Site of Xochimilco who suddenly found themselves in a wave pool due to the quake:

Photos from the Benito Juárez Airport (MEX) show major damage there too.

The airport suspended operations until the runways and infrastructure could be inspected for damage, but reopened after checks on Tuesday afternoon.  The tweet below from the airport authority says operations are back up.

Southwest and Alaska Airlines flights inbound to MEX diverted. Southwest flight #2302 from Houston’s Hobby (HOU) airport made it most of the way to Mexico City before going into a holding pattern and diverting back to HOU.

MEX diversions

As one of the major airports in the region, there are quite a few large jets inbound to MEX: an Air France A380, Iberia A340-600, Lufthansa 747-8, KLM 747-400 and an AeroMexico 787-9 were all en route, as the image below shows. Air France has diverted to Cancun (CUN) as has an Alitalia Boeing 777-200 from Rome; the others are still heading for the original destination.

MEX large aircraft diversions

First responders are still working to rescue people stuck in collapsed buildings. We will soon know if the MEX airport terminal sustained major damage or if I’ll be able to reopen promptly.

This post has been updated to reflect the airport reopening.

Featured image by Hector Vivas / Stringer via Getty Images.

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