Map of earthquake location today (Nov. 15, 2012) in southern Mexico.
An earthquake of preliminary magnitude 6.0 struck early today in southern Mexico, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
The temblor's epicenter was 6 miles (9 km) east of Tlalchapa, Mexico, and 107 miles (173 km) southwest of Mexico City. It originated 38 miles (60 km) deep and struck at 2:20 a.m. local time (0920 UTC), the USGS reports.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard and the governors of Mexican states surrounding the quake's epicenter posted messages on Twitter saying there were no reports of major damage.
Earthquakes of this size can cause significant damage, especially with poorly built structures. Even well designed buildings can be damaged or, in some cases, destroyed depending on the severity of the quake and a building’s proximity to the epicenter. Earthquakes of this size are sometimes followed by significant aftershocks.
But the damage caused by any single event depends on the quake's depth, proximity to populated areas, building standards in the region, as well as the type of earthquake. The USGS frequently updates the magnitude of an event after more data is analyzed.
An earthquake's magnitude is a measure of the energy released at the source. It is just one predictor of the shaking that may ensue, which is affected by local and regional geology. Scientists know in a general sense what causes Earthquakes but are unable to predict specific quakes.
This article will be updated if significant additional information becomes available. Find more earthquake news here.