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SASMEX® (for Sistema de Alerta Sísmica Mexicano in Spanish) initially consisted of SAS (Sistema de Alerta Sísmica para la Ciudad de México), which has been in operation since 1991, and SASO (Sistema de Alerta Sísmica para la Ciudad de Oaxaca), which has provided service since 2003. Additionally, SASMEX® is expanding its coverage to other seismic hazard regions that could eventually affect vulnerable cities such as Mexico City.

In 1989 CIRES (For Centro de Instrumentación y Registro Sísmico, Civil Association in Spanish) began the development of SASMEX® which began with 12 earthquake sensing stations covering a segment of the Guerrero coast.

SASMEX® is regarded as a pioneer in providing service for the dissemination of automatic public alerts, thanks to the support of the ARVM (For Asociación de Radiodifusores del Valle de México in Spanish). Historically in Mexico City, because of its great distance from the coast of Guerrero, SASMEX® has provided alerts with an opportunity time of approximately 60 seconds.


In 1999, the Authorities of the State of Oaxaca contracted with CIRES to develop another alert system. This system has 37 seismic sensors operating in Costal, Central and Northern Oaxaca, covering its dangerous seismic territory.


SASO like to SAS disseminates emergency warnings and additionally issues alerts on the streets through loudspeakers placed throughout of Oaxaca City.

In Oaxaca City, SASO provides an opportunity time of 30 seconds, if the detected earthquake occurs Oaxaca’s coast, or less time if the seismic event occurs near the city. SASO has boasted support, from its implementation, of local radio and commercial TV stations.

Today, SAS and SASO have generated 14 and 20 public alert signals respectively, as well as 59 and 13 preventive alerts in over 2200 earthquakes detected by their seismic sensors.


In 2005 at the request of the Authorities of Oaxaca, Mexico City and the Mexican ministry of the Interior (SEGOB, for Secretaría de Gobernación in Spanish) agreed to share timely knowledge of seismic hazard from both arrays of sensors (SAS and SASO) to warn both the cities of Mexico and Oaxaca. This network will form SASMEX® in its first stage. This integration agreement, with the support of the Federal Authorities has resulted in the use of the data network of the Ministry of Security, "Plataforma México", to carry seismic information.


In 2010, the Authorities of the Federal District decided to invest in upgrading SAS as well as extending coverage of seismically active areas that could affect Mexico City, with 64 seismic sensors reaching the seismic regions of the states of Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Puebla and Guerrero (the latter had only consisted of 12 seismic sensors along the "Guerrero gap" until April 2012). This update will succeed in modernizing SAS infrastructure to make it compatible with SASO in Oaxaca and allow it to warn the cities of Acapulco, Chilpancingo, Toluca as well as Mexico City of the seismic hazard which could eventually affect them. Additionally CIRES proposed that the Federal Authorities complement this coverage of seismic hazard in the States of Veracruz, Chiapas and Northeast Oaxaca.

Finally, CIRES has been suggested to the Federal Authorities that SASMEX® should disseminate notices of seismic alert to other cities in addition to the cities of Mexico, Toluca, Oaxaca, Acapulco and Chilpancingo in Guerrero due to density of population, urban development and proximity to Mexican seismic hazard zones.


SASMEX® identifies two types of seismic alert signals in accordance with local Civil Protection authorities: Public Alert for earthquakes with strong effects and Preventive Alert when moderate earthquakes are expected.



CIRES defines SASMEX® prevention time as the lapse between the start of the alert signal and the initial moment of the seismic effect in its phase of greatest intensity, in the region where intends to reduce its risk, as the according to the level of hazard of the effect in each site, this system may emit: Public and Preventive alerts.


To meet the challenge of issuing effective warning for a natural phenomenon such as seismic hazards and ensuring long-term availability and reliability of its elements, has been necessary to maintain an adequate level of technological development. SASMEX® procedures include the use autonomous energy sources and solar power as well as alternate and redundant elements in communication systems. Finally, to guarantee an acceptable level of availability (over to 98 %) in addition, there is a monitoring and supervision automatic system and staff respond to failures in less than 24 hours.


In 2008 thanks to the support of the Historical Center authority, the installation of VHF transmitters to broadcast the SASMEX® signal was achieved using NWR (National Weather Radio) protocols and SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) codes developed in The United States of America under the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration).

In 2010 the SARMEX® (For Sistema de Alerta de Riesgos Mexicano in Spanish) protocol was developed, without detriment to the NWR-SAME functions, achieving reduction of receiver activation times, as well as prerecorded early warning sound for earthquakes, that can be heard clearly and distinguished it from other emergency messages that use the NWR SAME receptor.


In 2012 the installation of 50,000 SARMEX® receptor began, in every classroom of the public school sector of the Federal District sponsored by the Mexico City Government Authorities, and in the second semester of this year they will have 40,000 additional receptors thanks to the support of the Federal Authorities.

Centro de Instrumentación y Registro Sísmico, A. C.
Anaxágoras 814, Col Narvarte. C.P. 03020 Ciudad de México.
Tels. Nuevos:(55) 5340-6570 con 10 líneas
Tels:(55) 5687-4542, (55) 5687-4582
Copyright © 2005, 2020 CIRES, A. C. Derechos Reservados