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Powerful earthquake rattles Mexico

The 7.2-magnitude earthquake's epicenter was near the resort of Acapulco in the southwestern state of Guerrero.

Last updated: 18 Apr 2014 18:06
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No deaths or serious injuries were reported after the 7.5-magnitude quake [EPA]

A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake has rattled Mexico's capital and Pacific coast, 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 after the earthquake on Friday.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake's epicenter 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 24 km.

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 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 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. 

"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 lamp posts moving," he said.

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Source:
AFP
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