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Powerful quake rattles Mexico

19 april 2014, 13:15
0
©AFP
©AFP

A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico's capital and Pacific coast on Friday, shaking buildings, bringing down walls and prompting people to rush into the street, AFP reports.

The country, however, appeared to have escaped major damage and casualties.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake's epicenter was 36 kilometers (22 miles) northwest of Tecpan, near the Pacific resort of Acapulco in southwestern Guerrero state.

The quake struck at a depth of 24 kilometers.

Mexico's National Seismology Service gave the same magnitude for the quake, saying it was followed by dozens of weaker aftershocks of up to magnitude 4.8.

Tourists in Acapulco for Holy Week streamed out of hotels. Buildings were also evacuated in Mexico City as helicopters buzzed overhead to check for damage.

The earthquake was also felt in the eastern state of Veracruz and the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

Angelica Lasso, a 30-year-old website designer, grabbed a jacket and ran out of the first floor of her three-story apartment building in Mexico City.

"The furniture moved and my CDs fell from the disc storage tower. I got out quickly and even forgot my house keys," Lasso said as she bought a sugary bread from a street vendor.

Authorities were working to restore electricity in several city neighborhoods.

"Fortunately, what we have are collapsed walls and no reports of deaths or injuries," said federal civil protection director general Ricardo de la Cruz.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said some walls collapsed and a few roads were damaged but nobody was injured.

The metropolis of 20 million people is sensitive to distant earthquakes because it was built over soft soil from a drained lake.

In 1985, thousands of people were killed in Mexico City when buildings collapsed after an 8.1-magnitude temblor struck the Pacific coast.

In Guerrero state, rocks fell on Pacific highways, while cracks were seen in churches and the offices of the region's capital, Chilpancingo.

In Acapulco, 105 kilometers south of Tecpan, holidaymakers fled hotels and jumped out of swimming pools.

"The swimming pool was moving. I was afraid for my kids, so I took them out and we left the hotel," said Ulises Yam Loye of central Hidalgo state.

"It scared us a lot to see the palm trees and lampposts moving."


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