Mexico earthquake causes 'tsunami' in Death Valley cave

An earthquake in Mexico causes a


The powerful earthquake that shook Mexico on Monday was also felt in the western United States, causing a “tsunami” to occur in a cavern in the middle of the Death Valley desert, announced the US National Park Service (NPS). 

Waves reaching 1 min 20 s broke in the cave called “Devils Hole” – literally the hole of the devil – – 22 minutes after Monday's earthquake, all captured on video, the NPS said in a statement dated Wednesday.

The seismic energy traveled 2,400 kilometers through the earth's crust to the Nevada water-filled limestone cave.

This phenomenon, officially known as a seiche, stirred up sediment and rocks in the basin, which no doubt surprised the few dozen fish that live there.

Cyprinodon diabolis, a rare species of fish, endemic to Devils Hole and which feeds on algae growing in the cave rne, seems to have escaped unscathed nonetheless.

“Fish have survived many of these events in recent years,” said Kevin Wilson, an NPS environmental expert who works in the Death Valley National Park.

“We found no dead fish after the shaking stopped.”

Monday's quake, with a magnitude of 7.7, killed two people in western Mexico, damaged several thousand buildings and sparked panic in this region, which is more than 400 kilometers from the capital Mexico City.

It was followed by another earthquake on Thursday which also killed at least two people.