Mexico earthquake picked up by University of Iowa seismometer - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mexico earthquake picked up by University of Iowa seismometer

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

Mexico suffered a magnitude 7.1 earthquake Tuesday that killed hundreds. 

The earthquake near Mexico City brought down buildings and sent people running for the streets. 

The seismic waves were picked up nearly 2,000 miles away in Iowa City. 

Inside a wooden box sits the University of Iowa seismometer, it's no larger than a coffee can and it detects earthquakes in real time. 

While earthquakes can be detected, we are told they can't be predicted. 

"Right now earthquakes are not predictable in that we can't say that an earthquake of a certain magnitude is going to hit an area at a known time," says Bill Barnhart, University of Iowa Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences. 

Barnhart says Mexico City is vulnerable to earthquakes, in fact one devastated the city on the very same day 32 years ago. 


    

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