The Education University of Hong Kong banner

China Daily

News> World> Content
Saturday, February 17, 2018, 17:56
Magnitude-7.2 earthquake slams south, central Mexico
By ​Associated Press
Saturday, February 17, 2018, 17:56 By ​Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook south and central Mexico Friday, causing people to flee swaying buildings and office towers in the country's capital, where residents were still jittery after a deadly quake five months ago.

The US Geological Survey said the quake's epicenter was 53 km northeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca state

Crowds of people gathered on Mexico City's central Reforma Avenue as well as on streets in Oaxaca state's capital, nearer the quake's epicenter, which was in a rural area close to Mexico's Pacific coast and the border with Guerrero state.

"It was awful," said Mercedes Rojas Huerta, 57, who was sitting on a bench outside her home in Mexico City's trendy Condesa district, too frightened to go back inside. "It started to shake; the cars were going here and there. What do I do?"

She said she was still scared thinking of the Sept. 19 earthquake that caused 228 deaths in the capital and 141 more in nearby states. Many buildings in Mexico City are still damaged from that quake.

Mexican Civil Protection chief Luis Felipe Fuente tweeted that there were no immediate reports of major damages from Friday's quake. In Oaxaca, Gov. Alejandro Murat said via Twitter that damage was being evaluated, but there were deaths reported so far.

People stands in the street as an earthquake shakes Mexico City, Feb 16, 2018. A powerful 7.2-magnitude earthquake has shaken south and central Mexico, causing people to flee buildings and office towers in the country's capital, and setting off quake alert systems. (BERNANDINO HERNANDEZ / AP)

The Red Cross said the facade from a building collapsed in Mexico City's Condesa neighborhood, which was hit hard on Sept. 19.

The US Geological Survey put the quake's preliminary magnitude at 7.2 and said its epicenter was 53 kilometers northeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca state. It had a depth of 24 kilometers.

Two diners sit outside a restaurant on Reforma Avenue after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City, Feb 16, 2018. (MARCO UGARTE / AP)

About an hour after the quake, a magnitude 5.8 aftershock centered southern Mexico caused tall buildings in Mexico City to briefly sway again.

ALSO READ: Taiwan earthquake death toll rises to 12

USGS seismologist Paul Earle said Friday's earthquake appeared to be a separate temblor, rather than an aftershock of a Sept 8 earthquake also centered in Oaxaca, which registered a magnitude of 8.2. The Sept 19 earthquake struck closer to Mexico City.

The Sept 8 quake killed nearly 100 people in Oaxaca and neighboring Chiapas, but was centered about 440 kilometers southwest of Friday's earthquake, Earle said.

People stand along Reforma Avenue after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City, Feb 16, 2018.  (MARCO UGARTE / AP)

In Mexico's capital, frightened residents flooded into the streets in Condesa, including one woman wrapped in just a towel, but there were no immediate signs of damage.

"I'm scared," Rojas Huerta said. "The house is old."

READ MORE: Deadly earthquake hits Mexico

Patients rest in their hospital beds parked outside the General Hospital after they were evacuated, in Veracruz, Mexico, Feb 16, 2018. (FELIX MARQUEZ / AP)

Share this story