The earth moved for football fans in Mexico City on Sunday night as Mexico’s 1-0 World Cup upset win over defending champion Germany appeared to have caused a seismic event.
Two monitoring stations in Mexico City picked up the tremor as Hirving Lozano scored the game-winner 35 minutes into the match.
Seismologists in Chile also said that their instruments detected an artificial tremor at the same time.
Mexico’s seismic monitoring network, Simmsa, said the vibrations were picked up by at least two sensors when Lozano scored.
Simmsa tweeted that the artificial quake may have been generated by “massive jumps” in celebration across the city.
El #sismo detectado en la Ciudad de México se originó de manera artificial. Posiblemente por saltos masivos durante el Gol de la selección de #México en el mundial. Por lo menos dos sensores dentro de la Ciudad lo detectaron a las 11:32. pic.twitter.com/mACKesab3b
— SIMMSA (@SIMMSAmex) June 17, 2018
Spanish earthquake app Sismologia Chile said on Facebook that the co-ordinated shaking might have led the sensors to interpret the non-natural vibrations as an earthquake.
Families in Mexican football jerseys had watched the match on a giant screen in the city’s Zocalo main square front of a towering cathedral.
When star player Hirving Lozano scored the winner, supporters shouted, “Yes, we did it!”, Reuters reported.
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) June 17, 2018
“What happened hey, what happened hey, to the Germany that was going to beat us today?” the crowd chanted as the final score became apparent.
Mexico has competed at the World Cup since the event’s inception in 1930. It has only ever reached as far as the quarterfinals, placing sixth in 1986 and 1970.
“What happened today was an earthquake of joy for us. Just imagine, we beat the world champions!” Mexico fan Laura Villegas, was quoted as saying by AFP.
Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto joined the party, saying on Twitter: “Confirmed: Mexico competes and wins against the best in the world, Congratulations to @miseleccionmx! Great match!”
Victory rallies erupted in other major Mexican cities including Guadalajara, Toluca, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez.
Sports-induced quakes are not new.
In January 2011, US seismologists recorded strong vibrations equivalent to a magnitude 1 to 2 earthquake in Seattle when NFL running back Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown for the Seahawks in what has become known as “Beast Quake” for Lynch’s “Beast Mode” nickname.
John E Vidale, director of the Southern California Earthquake Centre, told USA TODAY that, at most, such fan-induced earthquakes would generate a 2 on the Richter Scale, which would go unnoticed by the public if it were a typical quake.