How World Cup Celebrations Caused an Artificial Earthquake in Mexico

Mexican fans celebrating in Mexico City in 2010
Mexican fans celebrating in Mexico City in 2010 | © Eneas De Troya / Flickr
Photo of Stephen Woodman
19 June 2018

Mexican soccer fans jumping in celebration during Mexico’s surprise victory over World Cup champions Germany set off earthquake sensors in the country’s capital on Sunday.

The country’s Institute of Geological and Atmospheric Investigations recorded earth tremors seven seconds after Hirving Lozano scored the only goal in the team’s group stage triumph over Germany. The group tweeted that the movement was triggered in an “artificial manner,” adding that it was “possibly because of mass jumping during Mexico’s World Cup goal.”

The Mexican team held on to their lead for the remainder of the match, claiming a historic victory – the first time ever that a North American team has beaten Germany at a World Cup.

At just 22 years old, the goalscorer Lozano is already being hailed as a national hero. Popularly known by his nickname “Chucky,” the PSV Eindhoven player was the subject of endless praise and countless celebratory memes.

Hirving Lozano playing for Mexico in 2016 | © Agência Brasília / Flickr

Following the match, President Enrique Peña Nieto sent a tweet congratulating the team. “Confirmed: Mexico competes against and beats the best in the world. Many congratulations to @miseleccionmx! Great game!”

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the frontrunner in Mexico’s presidential campaign, also offered praise for the team on the campaign trail, telling the crowd, “Just like the team won today, Mexico will keep winning.”

The seismic activity offered an accurate portrayal of the significance of the victory to many Mexicans.

The country is currently engaged in an election campaign season that has been deeply polarizing and dampening to the national mood. When Lozano’s right foot strike hit home in the 35th minute, there were ecstatic celebrations across the country. The largest gathering was in the capital’s main square, where 75,000 people watched the match on a massive screen in front of the cathedral.

Hirving Lozano playing for Mexico in 2016 | © Agência Brasília / Flickr

Mexico’s next two games are against South Korea and Sweden. Two of the four teams in the group stage will advance to the round of 16, the next stage of the tournament. Mexico is hoping that this year it will make it beyond the round of 16, having been beaten at that stage in the past six World Cups.

The World Cup has dominated the news in Mexico in recent weeks. On June 13, the country was awarded the 2026 tournament, after making a successful joint bid with the United States and Canada. Mexico has already hosted the World Cup twice – in 1970 and 1986 – and will become the only country in the world to have hosted the event on three separate occasions.

Mexico soccer fans | © Celso FLORES / Flickr

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