7.1-magnitude earthquake shakes Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AFP, REUTERS) – A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday (Sept 7) near the Pacific coast, the National Seismological Service said, shaking buildings in the capital several hundred kilometres away.

The epicentre was 11km south-east of the beach resort of Acapulco in Guerrero state, the service said, upgrading its estimate of the tremor’s strength.

The earthquake was felt strongly in parts of Mexico City, sending residents and tourists spilling into the streets from homes and hotels.

The quake shook the hillsides around Acapulco, downing trees and causing rock falls, pitching large boulders onto the road. Some buildings were damaged.

The Guerrero state governor, Hector Asutudillo, told the press that there were no reports of injuries or serious damage in Acapulco.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said there were no reports of serious damage in the capital either.

Acapulco is roughly 375km from Mexico City.

In the Roma Sur neighbourhood of Mexico City, lights went off and scared residents rushed out, some wearing little more than pyjamas, a witness said. Residents hurdled together in the rain, holding young children or pets, too worried to return to their homes in the dark.

“It was terrible. It really reminds me of the 1985 quake every time something like this happens,” said Roma Sur resident Yesmin Rizk, 70.

He was referring to the 8.1-magnitude quake in Mexico city on Sept 19, 1985, that killed more than 10,000 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

On the anniversary of that earthquake in 2017, a 7.1 quake left around 370 people dead, mainly in the capital.

Bordered by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, Mexico is one of the most seismically active places in the world, sitting atop five tectonic plates including three major ones.

The USGS said the quake, initially measured at a magnitude of 7.4, was very shallow, only 12.5km below the surface, which would have amplified the shaking effect.

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