A powerful earthquake struck southwestern Mexico late Tuesday evening. It caused widespread shaking as far away as the capital city of Mexico City and killed at least one person.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck 2.5 miles east-northeast of Los Órganos de San Agustín, about eight miles from the Pacific Coast port and beach resort city of Acapulco. Sismologico Nacional recorded a total of 92 aftershocks Tuesday night, including one with a magnitude of 5.2.
Acapulco Mayor Adela Román told television news outlet Milenio that there have been “many gas leaks in many places,” as well as landslides and fallen walls.
According to the U.S. Tsunami Warning System, there was a brief tsunami threat late Tuesday night for portions of Mexico’s coastline. The threat has since passed and there were no threats to the coastlines of Japan or the Philippines.
The lone fatality reported was a 19-year-old man named Eliodoro Hurtado, who died in the Mexican state of Guerrero, which includes Acapulco. This was according to various officials.
In Mexico City, alarms could be heard shortly before the ground started shaking. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said there were no initial reports of major damage in the capital, which is about 230 miles from the epicenter. In a post on social media, Sheinbaum said that many people had lost electricity and authorities were working to restore power. The city’s metro service said in a statement that train services had been resumed following a safety review.
About 1.6 million customers were estimated to be without electricity in Mexico City and throughout four states, the country’s state-owned utility service, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), said in a statement. CFE said it was working to restore power to the impacted regions.
Earthquakes are not uncommon in Mexico because of its location at the edge of the North American tectonic plate. Two major quakes struck the country in September 2017, and on Sept. 19, 1985, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake killed an estimated 9,500 people in and around Mexico City. That quake left a huge scar on the city, resulting in changes in building codes and greater protections against earthquakes.
Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said there was no “significant damage” in Guerrero state, where Tuesday’s epicenter is located. While serious damage has not yet been reported from the epicenter, Lopez Obrador said authorities did receive reports of falling rocks.
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