Disasters & Accidents

Major earthquake rocks southern, central Mexico; at least 1 dead

Mexico City, Jun 23 (efe-epa).- A powerful magnitude-7.5 earthquake struck Tuesday morning in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca and also was felt in Mexico City and other parts of the country.

Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat said in remarks to the media that one person was killed in the town of Crucecita and another was injured after a building collapsed.

“Magnitude-7.5 earthquake. Located 12 kilometers to the southeast of Crucecita, Oaxaca,” on Mexico’s Pacific coast, the National Seismological Service said on Twitter.

The potent temblor, which occurred at 10.29 am local time (1529 GMT), triggered Mexico City’s seismic alert and was felt strongly in much of that sprawling metropolis of more than 20 million people.

Preliminary reports had put the earthquake’s strength at magnitude-7.1.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador delivered a brief video message from the patio of the National Palace, saying that “no damage has been reported at the moment.”

“We now are in communication with other states. In any case, everyone should go outside to be safe in the event of any aftershock,” the head of state added.

Foreign Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said for his part on social media that the federal government has activated the country’s Civil Protection protocol.

Different federal and local Civil Protection agencies are currently conducting an initial damage assessment.

The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for its part, issued an alert indicating that “hazardous tsunami waves from this earthquake are possible within 1,000 kilometers of the epicenter along the (Pacific) coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.”

Mexico, one of the countries with the highest levels of seismic activity in the world, sits on the North American tectonic plate and is surrounded by three other plates in the Pacific: the Rivera microplate, at the mouth of the Gulf of California; the Pacific plate; and the Cocos plate.

A total of 471 people died in Mexico two separate earthquakes and a potent aftershock in September 2017.

The second of those two quakes (a magnitude-7.1 temblor that left around 370 dead) struck just south of the central city of Puebla on Sept. 19, 2017, the 32nd anniversary of the devastating 1985 temblor that killed thousands in Mexico City.

Mexico also was hit by a magnitude-8.2 earthquake on Sept. 7, 2017, that left 98 dead in southern Mexico and a magnitude-6.1 temblor on Sept. 23, 2017, (considered an aftershock of the Sept. 7 quake) that was blamed for four deaths. EFE-EPA

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