John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The electrical infrastructure in Mexico's capital did not respond happily to Sunday morning's quake.
This is what an earthquake looks like at night in Mexico City – an alien war zone of brilliant light flashes, as tremors trip up the electrical grid piece by sparking piece.
The 5.8-magnitude quake occurred right after midnight on Sunday, June 16, with the epicenter quivering in the neighborhood of Jolalpan, about 76 miles south of Mexico City. While the temblor was far from a giant, the soft soil of Mexico's capital – the cause of much death and destruction during the notorious 1985 quake – assured that the metropolis shook like the adipose belly of an overweight luchador.
The intense electrical blasts that briefly lit up streets and buildings were captured on multiple views by Webcams de Mexico. Fortunately, the quake spelled little more than a nighttime disco show for the city's residents. There've been no reports of damage or chaos aside from a few blackouts, according to Reuters: