The Most Important Natural Disasters Occurred in Mexico

Undoubtedly, the centuries of human activity have left their mark on the planet, mainly when we talk about ecology. The destruction of many ecosystems (forest, jungle, tundra, etc.), excessive release of gases that produce the greenhouse effect and the over-exploitation of natural resources have disrupted the atmosphere on our planet. Although since the mid 70´s calls were made to reduce pollution, few governments and businesses payed attention or bother to conduct environmental impact studies.

Thus, throughout the world the consequences of global warming have been felt, Mexico is no exception and meteorological phenomena such as El niño require us to pay attention to what is happening to our planet. Various natural disasters have affected the country since always (there are records about earthquakes done by the ancient Aztecs), although the intensity of some phenomenon have increased due to our impact on the environment. Here are some of the major disasters that have hit Mexico.


The temblor that most has affected Mexico undoubtedly is the occurred on September19,1985. In fact, to establish an exact figure on the number of dead is imposible even nowadays. The intensity of the earthquake was 8.1 degrees on Richter scale and was responsible for thousands of buildings that were destroyed. The second earthquake that left more sequels in the country when it happened is the earthquake called of the Angel in July 1957. Its magnitude was 8 degrees and left just over 700 dead and over 2,500 injured.Both of them affected mainly Mexico city.


These weather events greatly affect the country daily, the forecasts are about 30 hurricanes formed on a year, although not all of them reach the coasts. However the intensity and number of hurricanes has increased in recent years and many experts agree that it is by an increase on seas temperature. However it is difficult to measure the intensity of any phenomenon, because sometimes disasters that have left huge economic losses have left few dead and vice versa. Some of the most noteworthy are:

Paulina.-It arrived on October 8, 1997 to Oaxaca. Its category 4 was enough to destroy hundreds of homes (approximately 150 thousand victims) and leave just over 400 dead. In the 2016 it is still possible to find debris result from this meteor.

Mexico.-The strongest hurricane known from the Pacific that has touched land. It damaged to the states of Jalisco and Colima, just over 2,000 deaths were caused as a result mainly because of landslides done by it. Hurricane Mexico occurred on October 1959, the number of victims was so big due to little culture of prevention of the time.

Stan.- It affected mainly Veracruz in October 2005. More than 2080 dead in national territory, more than 700 others in other countries were the tragedies that it left. Surprisingly it was low grade, but floods it left were substantial.

Wilma.-Based only on destruction, it is considered the worst hurricane on the country since it leave more than $10 billion in losses since affected more than 48 hours the area of the Riviera Maya and Cancun. Also, It is considered the main culprit for ruining beaches in the area (which have not yet been able to reconstruct 100% despite various projects). Wilma reached the costs in October 2005.

Manuel and ingrid.-they hit against Mexico in September 2014 simultaneously, although originally had different paths and one was hurricane while the other an storm. Just over one million and half of victims and some disappeared was the balance.

Gilberto.-This phenomenon impact Monterrey largely in September 1988. Destructions had been already made by this hurricane through Quintana Roo, however since the population of Monterrey is not near the Sea, few precautions were taken against it. An impressive phenomenon, a hurricane that hit the city which came up from the riverbed. The flood was terrible.

Odile.-It happened in September 2014. It stands out because although it did not cause large losses or numerous deaths it destructed the electrical infrastructure of Baja California. The phenomenon also made the need to evacuate thousands of tourists in Baja because there are not many roads there, and several were damaged. I also have to highlight that the desperation of many led to mass looting.

This link is strongly recommended to monitor hurricanes, storms and other phenomena that threaten Mexico: National Hurricane Center


In Mexico these go hand to hand with droughts and an average of 15 per day is recorded in the country. They mainly affect the forest, but grassland and jungle are also damaged. Unlike other disasters government encompass those that occurred in a year. Forest national commission considered among the worst years (since it keeps its records) to 2008 and 2011. The affected area was 116 hectares in 98 and 110 thousand in 2011, the most damaged were Oaxaca and Coahuila states.

Final note:

Another approach is the one of the asociación Mexicana de seguros, which has its own ranking of the worst disasters based on the compensation that it has had to make. It should be noted that the coincidence is not much with the ranking disaster that other media have because the level of insurance contracts varies widely from one party to another in Mexico (Oaxaca and Veracruz is have almost zero insurance service, while in Quintana Roo there is a great insight ).

1.-Hurricane Wilma (2005) 1,752 mdd

2. Hurricane Odile (2014) 860 mdd

3. Floods in Tabasco (2007) 700 mdd

4. Hurricane Gilbert (1997) 567 mdd

5. Earthquake of September 85 (1985) 473 mdd

A website that we also have to consider is the National Disaster Prevention Center (CENAPRED) that constantly reports about other phenomena like diseases (influence, Zika, etc.) or other potential disasters such as volcanic eruptions, its website is:

Artículo Producido por el Equipo Editorial Explorando México.

Copyright Explorando México, Todos los Derechos Reservados.