The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

April 18, 2014

Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital

ACAPULCO, Mexico — A powerful, magnitude-7.5 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

The quake was felt strongly in the resort city, as well as in Mexico's capital, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

"There is a crisis of panic," said Alicia Dominguez, who answered the phone at the civil protection office. "It's mainly the tourists who are shaken." Civil protection officials were patrolling the city to check for damage and casualties.

The quake struck 164 miles (265 kilometers) southwest of Mexico City, which shook for at least 30 seconds. Buildings swayed as people fled high rises and took to the streets. Because of the Easter holiday, that city was less crowded than usual.

"This is really strong," said Gabriel Alejandro Hernandez Chavez, 45, an apartment building guard in central Mexico City. "And I'm accustomed to earthquakes."

According the USGS, the quake's center was 30 miles (49 kilometers) deep.

Mexico City is vulnerable even to distant earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds that quiver as quake waves hit.

The magnitude-8.1 quake in 1985 that killed at least 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in Mexico City was centered 250 miles (400 kilometers) away on the Pacific Coast.

 

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