Travel Journal — Mexico City

The Mysterious Tale of Mexico City’s September 19 Earthquakes

Year after year, they come together for the annual earthquake simulation and then the real one hits.

Cindy Roaming
2 min readSep 19
Earthquake simulation in 2022, Mexico City. Photo by Author

In Mexico City, every year on September 19, something peculiar happens. People gather for an earthquake simulation, and what makes it even more intriguing is that, almost like clockwork, a real earthquake strikes just a few minutes after the drill. It’s a puzzle that has left locals scratching their heads for decades.

Let’s take a closer look at this unusual phenomenon.

The story begins in 1985 when a massive earthquake rocked Mexico City in the early hours of September 19. Tragically, more than 9,000 lives were lost in this devastating event, leaving an indelible mark on the city’s collective memory. Then, in 2017, history seemed to repeat itself as another powerful earthquake struck on the very same date.

And I vividly recall my first year living here, approaching September 2021, when I was introduced to this mystery. One morning, as I was having breakfast in a colonial building in Colonia San Rafael, right after the earthquake simulation, a real earthquake once again shook the city. This pattern was repeated in 2022. This enigmatic recurrence has sparked numerous questions and theories among Mexicans.

Some believe it’s purely coincidental, a quirk of fate. Others, however, can’t help but wonder if there’s more to it. Could there be some hidden force or cosmic alignment responsible for this uncanny timing? No one knows for certain. The mystery remains unsolved. Yet, amidst this uncertainty, one thing is abundantly clear: disaster preparedness is of utmost importance. Regardless of the cause of these unusual occurrences, the people of Mexico City have learned to prioritize readiness and response to seismic events. They’ve witnessed the devastating consequences of earthquakes in their history, and this has instilled in them a profound understanding of the need to be ever-vigilant and prepared for the unexpected.

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Cindy Roaming

I write about my travel story, tips, and itinerary. Currently in Mexico City🇲🇽