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visibly shaken

Powerful earthquake strikes Mexico on anniversary of 2017, 1985 tremors

A 7.6-magnitude earthquake struck western Mexico on Monday, prompting power outages as well as tsunami warnings from the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

The quake hit the coast shortly after 1 p.m. CT, per Reuters.  At least one person was killed in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima when a wall mall collapsed, The Associated Press writes, per a tweet from President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. While there were no reports of immediate damage in Mexico City, López Obrador said there was some destruction near the quake's epicenter, adds Reuters.

Monday's event arrives exactly 35 years after a powerful earthquake that killed thousands in 1985, and exactly five years after one that killed at least 350 in 2017. "It's this date, there's something about the 19th," said business owner Ernesto Lanzetta. "The 19th is a day to be feared."

But however spooky, these repeat natural events are nothing more than happenstance, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle told AP. "There's no physical reason or statistical bias toward earthquakes in any given month in Mexico," he said. "Sometimes there are just coincidences."

The U.S. tsuanmi center said tsunami waves were possible for coasts within 186 miles of the epicenter; per historic data, Mexico's National Civil Defense agency said "variations of as much as 32 inches ... were possible in coastal water levels near the epicenter," AP summarizes.