At least one dead as powerful earthquake hits Mexico

Mexico, Earthquake,

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 Mexico City 200 hundred miles away.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of seven and was centred about 10 miles northeast of Acapulco.

Guerrero state governor Hector Astudillo told Milenio Television that one person had been killed by a falling post in the town of Coyuca de Benitez near Acapulco.

“We heard loud noise from the building, noise from the windows, things fell inside the house, the power went out,” said Sergio Flores in Acapulco.

Mr 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 car parks 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.

Mr Astudillo said the tsunami alert centre had not registered any variations in the sea level. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre later said the threat of potential waves had passed.

The mayor of Acapulco, Adela Roman, said: “There are nervous breakdowns; people are worried because there have been aftershocks.” She said there are “many gas leaks in many places” as well as some landslides and fallen walls.

In Mexico City, 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.

Mexico City authorities said there were no early reports of significant damage in the city, though electricity was knocked out in some neighbourhoods.

Tuesday’s earthquake happened four years to the day after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, largely destroying the town of Juchitan in neighbouring Oaxaca state and killing dozens.

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