Powerful quake rattles Mexico

April 19, 2014 - 7:21:31 am
Patients are looked after by their relatives after they were evacuated from a hospital following an earthquake in Acapulco, in Guerrero state, yesterday.

MEXICO CITY: A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico’s capital and Pacific coast yesterday, shaking buildings, shattering windows and prompting people to rush into the street as power went out.

There were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake’s epicentre was 36km northwest of Tecpan, near the Pacific resort of Acapulco in southwestern Guerrero state.

The quake, which it initially rated as a 7.5-magnitude, struck at a depth of 24km. Mexico’s National Seismology Service measured the quake at 7.0.

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-storey 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 neighbourhoods. 

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said authorities were inspecting buildings but there were no reports of injuries.

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 struck the Pacific coast.

In Acapulco, 105km south of Tecpan, holidaymakers fled hotels and jumped out of swimming pools. Rocks fell on Pacific highways. “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. AFP

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