7.2-Magnitude Earthquake Felt across Central, Southern Mexico
A powerful earthquake shook southern and central Mexico on Friday evening, causing people to stream out of buildings in the country’s capital, just five months after another quake flattened office towers and killed several hundred people.
Crowds gathered on central Reforma Avenue in Mexico City as the ground shook beneath their feet.
“It was awful,” said 57-year-old Mercedes Rojas Huerta, 57, who was sitting on a bench outside her Mexico City home. “It started to shake; the cars were going here and there. What do I do?”
The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake’s preliminary magnitude at 7.2 and said its epicenter was about 33 miles northeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca state. It had a depth of 15 miles.
The epicenter was located in a rural area near the nation’s Pacific coast.
About an hour later, a magnitude-5.8 aftershock struck about 30 miles to the south.
Por sismo de magnitud preliminar de 7, a 8 km al Noreste de Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca, se han activado protocolos de @PcSegob.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) February 16, 2018
President Enrique Peña Nieto said on Twitter that the nation’s civil protection agency had activated emergency protocols.
The quake was not expected to cause a tsunami along Mexico’s coasts, according to Luis Felipe Puente, the agency’s secretary.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or damage from Friday’s earthquake.
A magnitude-7.1 earthquake in central Mexico on Sept. 19 killed 369 people, including 228 in Mexico City. Many buildings in the capital are still damaged from that quake.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.