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Why Mexico's Worst Earthquake in 30 Years Caused Little Damage

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Earthquake in Mexio (Photo: BBC)

he quake that shook Mexico City on Tuesday was a 7.4 magnitude.

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(This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.)

It caused some damage but the effects were minor compared to the Mexico quake in 1985 that killed some 10,000 people.

Anchor Lisa Mullins speaks with Paul Caruso, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center, about why this earthquake was so much less deadly.

Caruso says that the 1985 quake was devastating because of liquefaction — when buildings are built on sand an earthquake makes the ground become like liquid.

"I have a picture of a building, where the third floor of a building had crushed a car in San Francisco because the ground had liquefied under that building."

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