Strange earthquake lights have left people fearing ‘the apocalypse’.
Bursts of blue light have been seen streaking across the skies after a quake shook Acapulco on the Pacific coast of Mexico.
The 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the country around 11 miles northeast of the resort in the southwestern state of Guerrero on Wednesday.
Buildings were damaged and rock landslides caused chaos on a major motorway, but according to NPR the quake did not cause widespread damage.
The shaking ground could be felt 200 miles away in Mexico City and lasted nearly a minute.
People fled into the streets as buildings swayed and pavements wobbled as blue lights filled the sky.
Twitter users posted videos of the blue flashes which burst into the skyline while warnings sounded across the city
But Troy Shinbrot, a physicist at Rutgers University physicist urged people not to worry and said the eerie lights were not a sign of the world coming to an end.
He told NPR: “If it did, the apocalypse would have happened a thousand years ago when this was first discovered.”
Earthquake lights, he said have been recorded historically and occur fairly regularly.
The eruption of light, or luminosity, some scientists say is caused by rock friction near Earth’s crust, which releases energy into the atmosphere.
It results in a flash of light which shows itself near the surface of the planet.
The physicist has tried to re-create the phenomenon in his laboratory and measured voltage changes similar to when the Earth’s crust slips in an earthquake.
For those who were scientifically curious he urged them take a roll of adhesive tape into a dark cupboard and quickly peel back a strip and a glow of light will be emitted.
The U.S. Geological Survey says “Geophysicists differ on the extent to which they think that individual reports of unusual lighting near the time and epicenter of an earthquake actually represent EQL.”
But seismologist Victor Manuel Cruz Atienza of the National Autonomous University of Mexico does believe in the phenomenon.
“We can’t for sure associate the earthquake with the light show we saw last night, especially given the rainstorm we were experiencing,” he told NPR.
Both scientists say there will be be more chances to see the blue flashes across Mexico’s skies.
Many people are speculating that it will happen sometime during this month when many of the country greatest quakes have hit.
An 8.2 magnitude earthquake struck Oaxaca state four years ago on Sept. 7, 2017, and Mexico City’s destructive, 8.0 quake was on Sept. 19, 1985.
It meant Twitter users users began renaming the month Septiemble , a combination of “September” and “tremble” in Spanish.