The 2022 Michoacán Earthquake

Posted by Karl Lundgren on

As the sun dipped in the afternoon sky on April 5, 2022, the people of Michoacán, Mexico, went about their daily routines, oblivious to the impending disaster that would soon rock their lives. People settled their tabs at their favourite restaurants or cafes, children played in the streets, and vendors sold their wares at bustling markets. The serene calm of this picturesque region in western Mexico gave no hint of the chaos that would unfold in just a few hours.

At precisely 1:05 PM, the tranquility was shattered. The earth beneath Michoacán trembled violently, as if protesting centuries of geological tension. Homes swayed, windows shattered, and streets cracked open. Panic gripped the hearts of those abruptly awakened by the relentless shaking. It was the 2022 Michoacán earthquake, a seismic event with a magnitude of 7.4 that would etch its name into the annals of disaster history.

In this article, we delve into the heart-wrenching moments that followed this devastating earthquake, exploring the immediate aftermath, the resilience of the Michoacán communities, and the lessons that we can draw from this harrowing experience. Join us on a journey through the chaos, heroism, and hope that defined the wake of the 2022 Michoacán earthquake.

The 2022 Michoacán Earthquake

In the afternoon hours of April 5, 2022, the earth beneath the Mexican state of Michoacán trembled, leaving behind a trail of devastation and heartache. The 2022 Michoacán earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.4, jolted the region, reminding us of the immense power and unpredictability of nature. This seismic event had a profound impact on the people, communities, and infrastructure of Michoacán and serves as a reminder of the importance of disaster preparedness and resilience.

Understanding the Michoacán Earthquake

The 2022 Michoacán earthquake was a result of the complex tectonic interactions that characterize the region. Michoacán is situated along the boundary of the Cocos and North American tectonic plates, making it particularly prone to seismic activity. The rupture occurred at a depth of approximately 20 kilometers beneath the Earth's surface, sending shockwaves that were felt as far away as Mexico City.

Immediate Impact

The immediate impact of the Michoacán earthquake was devastating. The shaking caused buildings to crumble, roads to crack, and power lines to fall. In many areas, the infrastructure was not built to withstand such a powerful quake, exacerbating the destruction. The loss of life was tragic, with dozens of people losing their lives, and hundreds more were injured. The initial hours and days following the earthquake were marked by chaos and desperation as rescue teams rushed to search for survivors trapped in the debris.

Community Resilience

Despite the destruction, the response from local communities was nothing short of remarkable. Neighbors came together to help each other, pulling survivors from the wreckage and providing support to those in need. This spirit of solidarity and resilience is a testament to the strength of the people of Michoacán. It also highlighted the importance of community preparedness in the face of natural disasters.

Government Response

The Mexican government swiftly responded to the crisis, mobilizing emergency response teams, including the military and paramedics. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador declared a state of emergency, ensuring that resources and assistance reached the affected areas promptly. This coordinated response helped save lives and provided much-needed relief to those in distress.

Infrastructure Damage

One of the most significant challenges following the Michoacán earthquake was the damage to critical infrastructure. Roads and bridges were rendered impassable, making it difficult for aid to reach remote communities. Many schools, hospitals, and public buildings were also severely damaged, further hampering the recovery efforts. Rebuilding these essential structures would be a long and costly process.

Lessons from the Past

The Michoacán earthquake serves as a stark reminder of Mexico's vulnerability to seismic events. The country has a history of devastating earthquakes, including the 1985 Mexico City earthquake, which claimed thousands of lives. Despite these past experiences, there is still work to be done in terms of earthquake preparedness and building resilience.

Earthquake Preparedness

One of the key takeaways from the Michoacán earthquake is the importance of earthquake preparedness. Mexico has made significant strides in improving building codes and retrofitting existing structures to withstand seismic activity. However, there is still room for improvement, particularly in rural areas where resources may be limited. Education and awareness campaigns can play a crucial role in ensuring that individuals and communities know how to respond in the event of an earthquake.

International Assistance

In the aftermath of the Michoacán earthquake, Mexico received support from the international community. Countries such as the United States, Canada, and Japan offered assistance in the form of search and rescue teams, medical supplies, and financial aid. This international solidarity underscores the global nature of disaster response and the importance of countries coming together to provide aid in times of crisis.

Rebuilding and Recovery

Rebuilding Michoacán in the wake of the earthquake will be a long and arduous process. It will require not only the reconstruction of physical infrastructure but also the healing of communities and individuals who have been traumatized by the disaster. The government, NGOs, and local organizations will need to work together to ensure that the region emerges from this tragedy stronger and more resilient than ever.


The 2022 Michoacán earthquake was a stark reminder of the power of nature and the need for preparedness and resilience in the face of disasters. The immediate response of local communities, the Mexican government, and the international community showcased the capacity for compassion and support in times of crisis. As Michoacán rebuilds and recovers, let us not forget the lessons learned from this earthquake and continue to work towards a safer and more resilient future.

So what can we do to get better prepared?


A kit is not a safety blanket you just purchase to make yourself feel better, it is an important investment in your household’s safety and preparedness. Not all emergency kits are created equal, and we highly recommend using the Province of BC and Government of Canada resources when building or buying a kit. We are also pleased to offer Earthquake Kits that developed to meet the government requirements for emergency preparedness. Visit our Gov BC Earthquake Kit product page to view the contents of our kits and feel free to use this as a guideline for assembling your own. What’s important to us is not that you buy a kit from us, but that every household have a kit at the ready in case something unexpected should occur.


The Province of BC and the Federal Government have made huge strides in this area in recent years implementing an Emergency Notifications network through mobile carriers and testing it to great success levels. This can provide seconds to even minutes of advanced notice prior to an earthquake being felt in any given location. However, a network of this complexity relies on strategically positioned censors along the coastline. We need to continue expanding this network of sensors and make sure that existing censors are being properly monitored and maintained.

We also need to expand from mobile phone notifications to physical alarms in homes, buildings, and especially schools/daycares.

For more details on how this Early Detection Grid works, please check out the following video by the CBC several years ago.


Know the Hazards

Knowing which hazards you need to plan for is the first step to getting prepared


Build Your Kits

Put together a household emergency kit and grab-and-go bag.


Make Your Plan

Plan how you will respond to a disaster to stay focused and safe.


Guides and Resources

Preparedness guides and community resources are available to help get ready for emergencies.


Evacuation and Recovery Resources

Learn what happens in evacuations, what financial assistance you might be eligible for and other recovery resources.


Education Programs and Toolkits

Create awareness about preparing for emergencies with Prepared BC's easy-to-use education programs and social media toolkits.

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