Vietnam Time

2/17/2018 10:45:28 AM

Strong quake shakes Mexico, causing panic yet no reports of damage

A 7.2-magnitude quake shook Mexico City on Friday (Feb 16) in a prolonged rumble felt across the capital, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A patient is evacuated from a hospital during a powerful earthquake in Mexico City on Feb 16, 2018. Mexico's National Seismological Service put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0, and seismic monitor network Sky Alert said the quake was felt across the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla. (Photo: PEDRO PARDO/AFP)

Mexico's National Seismological Service put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0, and seismic monitor network Sky Alert said the quake was felt across the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially gave the quake's magnitude as 7.5, later revising it down to 7.2, and located its epicentre 37km northeast of Pinotepa de Don Luis, in the southwestern state of Oaxaca.

The U.S. National Weather service said it was not issuing a tsunami alert.

The latest tremor comes less than six months after a pair of devastating earthquakes killed hundreds of people in central and southern Mexico.

On September 7 last year, an 8.2 earthquake shook the nation and killed 96 people, mostly in the state of Oaxaca.

Then on September 19 - the 32nd anniversary of a huge 1985 quake that killed 10,000 people - another 7.1 quake rocked the country, leaving 369 people dead.

Panicked residents flooded into the street, fearing a repeat of two earthquakes last September that caused buildings to collapse and killed 465 people combined.

Location of the Feb 16 Mexico quake. (Graphic: USGS)

"To be honest, we're all pretty upset. We start crying whenever the (earthquake) alarm goes off. We're stressed out, we have flashbacks. So we run out into the street. It's all we can do," 38-year-old publicist Kevin Valladolid told AFP through tears after evacuating from his building in La Roma, in central Mexico City.

On the north side of the city, Julia Hernandez said she felt like she was "in a boat" as the ground swayed beneath her feet.

"Is it ever going to stop?" she said.

"We live in constant fear, with the memory of what happened" in previous quakes, her daughter added.

Officials in affected states said they were already inspecting buildings damaged by last year's quakes, which are especially vulnerable to collapse.

"Obviously people are afraid," said the emergency response chief for the city of Puebla, Gustavo Ariza.

The latest tremor comes less than six months after last year's devastating earthquakes in central and southern Mexico./.

VNF/Reuters  
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