Last updateFri, 12 Oct 2018 11am

Home ownership in Mexico: First, watch where you step

According to Earthquake Track, Mexico, the largest earthquake in 2017 in Jalisco was on the coast in San Patricio, measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale. The largest earthquake in Guadalajara occurred just this month at 4.3. 

It may not be common knowledge to those hordes of North Americans coming south that Mexico is one of the most “seismologically active” regions on earth. Ironically, Lake Chapala itself resulted from these drastic earth movements and faulting, which occurred some twelve million years ago. But since only a handful of hippies were here during that time, few people remember it. 

Earthquakes don’t have a season or rainbirds to announce their coming. So there are no ways to predict them. Except when your dog refuses to come out from under the bed. So it’s always good to be reminded that our beloved Mexican landmass, situated on bustling North American fault lines, is actually in constant rolling motion.  Its sudden booming shock waves are the reason for so many ongoing homeowner repair issues and the disruption of all those Feng Shui plans. And of course, it’s the explanation behind the mysterious nervousness of the Mexican Jumping Bean. 

What causes these quakes? Tectonics experts tell us that the Pacific Ocean floor is apparently conveyor-belting eastward underneath the ocean, driving our landmass (meter by meter) closer to Asia — and the possibility of finally getting some decent Chinese food here — everyday. Suspicions among many at Lakeside are growing that earthquakes are God’s way of telling us to stop building cheap Lakeside condos. 

More to the point, there are serious fault lines at a number of locations around the north side of Lake Chapala. Soil engineer, architect and builder, Gustavo Rivera, member, Board of Directors of the Architectural Association of the State of Jalisco, told me examples can be found in a number of popular Lakeside areas. “There are fault lines running through La Floresta and Chula Vista where signs and indicators are often hidden” he explained. “You can drive through Lower Chula Vista and see the cracks in the walls of poorly constructed and maintained homes. Also, the terrain on the way to Chapala through Riberas on the mountainside is unstable in many locations. And the buildings there will continue to experience instability.” 

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