The earthquake was associated with a surface rupture consisting of three segments with a combined length of 63.4 miles, the longest normal fault rupture recorded for an earthquake in historic times. The three faults that ruptured were the Pitáycachi, Teras, and Otates faults from north to south. The magnitude of the event has been estimated as 7.6 on the moment magnitude scale from an analysis of an isoseismal map drawn up for this event, following a re-evaluation of earlier estimates of felt intensity.
There was a prolonged sequence of aftershocks that are interpreted to continue to the present. Particularly large aftershocks (about magnitude 5) occurred on 26 May 1907, 17 May 1913 and 18 and 19 December 1923.
The earthquake destroyed most of the adobe houses in Bavispe and killing 42 of the town's 700 residents, Dr. George E. Goodfellow in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, loaded his wagon with medical supplies and rode 87 miles to aid survivors. The townspeople named him El Doctor Santo (The Sainted Doctor), and in recognition of his humanitarian contributions, Mexican President Porfirio Diaz presented him with a silver medal that had belonged to Emperor Maximilian and a horse named El Rosillo. Goodfellow noted that it was very difficult to pin down the time of the earthquake due to the absence of time pieces or a nearby railroad, and the primitive living standards of the area's residents.
Goodfellow returned twice, the second time in July with Tombstone photographer Camillus Sidney Fly to study and record the effects of the earthquake. He covered over 700 miles on horseback but mostly on foot through the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains recording his observations. His report included the first surface rupture map of an earthquake in North America and photographs of the rupture scarp by C.S. Fly. The United States Geological Service praised his remarkable and creditable report, describing it as systematic, conscientious, and thorough. The earthquake was at the time the “longest recorded normal-fault surface rupture in historic time.” His report was later described as an “outstanding study” and a “pioneering achievement”