A powerful earthquake has struck near the Pacific resort city of Acapulco, killing at least one person and causing buildings to rock and sway in the capital, Mexico City hundreds of kilometres away.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake on Tuesday night had a preliminary magnitude of 7 and was centred 17km (about 10 miles) northeast of Acapulco.
Guerrero state Governor Hector Astudillo told Milenio Television late Tuesday night that one person had been killed by a falling post in the town of Coyuca de Benitez near Acapulco.
“We heard a loud noise from the building, noise from the windows, things fell inside the house, the power went out,” said Sergio Flores, an Acapulco resident reached by phone. “We heard leaking water, the water went out of the pool and you heard people screaming, very nervous people.”
Flores said all he could do when it started shaking was hug his wife. He saw people leaving hotels around the bay and some running into parking decks to remove their cars, fearing a collapse.
“We were all worried about some change in the sea, but so far, authorities have not said anything about a tsunami alert,” he said.
Astudillo said the tsunami alert centre had not registered any variations in the sea level. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later said the threat of potential waves had passed.
The mayor of Acapulco, Adela Roman, said in a statement to the television news outlet Milenio that “there is no really serious situation” so far and no reports of casualties.
“There are nervous breakdowns; people are worried because there have been aftershocks,” she said, adding that there are “many gas leaks in many places”, as well as some landslides and fallen walls.
Before the first death was reported, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said via Twitter that authorities in the four states that most felt the earthquake told him there were no victims or serious damage beyond some collapsed walls and falling rocks.
“Fortunately there is no serious damage,” he said.
Mexico’s National Civil Defense said it was conducting reviews in 10 states, but had not received reports of victims nor serious damage.
In Mexico City, more than 320km (nearly 200 miles) away, the ground shook for nearly a minute in some parts of the capital, but the quake was less evident in other parts. Some people evacuated their buildings briefly, but most quickly went back inside on a rainy night.