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Hurricane, earthquake frequency considered natural despite destruction

Debris from a collapsed wall sits in Oaxaca, Mexico, after an earthquake early Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. A massive 8-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of southern Mexico late Thursday night, causing buildings to sway violently and people to flee into the street in panic as far away as the capital city.(AP Photo/Luis Alberto Cruz)

Natural disasters have been relentless over the past few weeks. North America and the Caribbean have taken punch after punch. From fires up north, with destructive hurricanes to the east followed by deadly earthquakes down south, some are starting to wonder whether this is normal.

While the disasters have been devastating, those who study these natural disasters say they are just that, natural.

“Earthquakes are very common around the world,” said Marianne Karplus, a geological sciences assistant professor at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Mexico has been rocked by two earthquakes within two weeks of each other, but it's nothing out of the ordinary thanks to its geographical location.

“It's relatively common, to get, in tectonically active areas, to get two earthquakes relatively close to teach other,” Karplus said.

The hurricanes across the Atlantic Ocean are completely normal too.

“If you go back maybe the last 100 years looking at hurricanes, it's typical to go back one or two years where you just have maybe four or five striking the U.S. Then you maybe go a decade without any hitting the U.S.,” Dave Hefner, with the National Weather Service in El Paso, said.

Hefner said when hurricanes hit the coastline and cause damage, we seem to be more aware of the natural disasters.

“It's kind of like the equivalent would be here in the Borderland,” Hefner said. “We may have a heavy thunderstorm season but if the thunderstorms are staying out in rural areas or maybe hitting a small town here and there, it's just not having a big impact.”

While the effects of the natural disasters have been deadly, El Pasoans are looking to the positive outcomes.

“I think bad things happen in a group and good things come out of it,” Alex Little said. “So I've seen a lot of people coming together with this type of thing.”

“The world’s not going to end and even if it does we should just make the best of it,” Allison Livermore.

There’s still more than two months left of hurricane season, meaning more storms could still build up across the Atlantic Ocean.

Earthquakes can happen at any time in tectonically active areas.

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