Strong earthquake rocks Mexico, killing two

A strong earthquake rocked Mexico on Thursday, killing at least two as residents rushed through the streets of the capital in the middle of the night after another powerful jolt.

A woman has died in Mexico City after falling down stairs and hitting her head when the quake set off early warning alarms, while a second victim in the capital suffered a heart attack, reports said. authorities.

The epicenter of the 6.9 magnitude earthquake was near the Pacific coast, 84 kilometers (52 miles) south of Coalcoman in the western state of Michoacan, the national seismological agency reported.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) estimated the magnitude at 6.8.

It was the strongest of more than 1,200 aftershocks of a magnitude 7.7 earthquake that struck the same region on Monday, the national seismological agency said.

This quake killed two people in western Mexico, damaged several thousand buildings and sowed panic more than 400 kilometers in Mexico City.

The latest quake set off alarms again in the capital shortly after 0100 (0600 GMT) and caused buildings to shake and wobble.

Many people quickly evacuated their homes when the alarms sounded, some still dressed in pajamas and carrying their pet dogs.

“We had a 6.9 magnitude aftershock with an epicenter at Coalcoman,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Twitter.

“Unfortunately, two people lost their lives in Mexico City,” he said, adding that no casualties were reported in the western states of Michoacan, Colima and Jalisco.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said official helicopters had flown over the capital and there were no initial reports of destruction.

“So far there has been no damage in the city after the earthquake,” she tweeted.

The earthquake struck at a depth of 12 kilometers, according to the national seismological agency, while the USGS estimated the depth at 24 kilometers, located about 410 kilometers from Mexico City.

– Traumatic anniversary –

Monday’s tremor came less than an hour after millions of people in Mexico City took part in emergency drills on the anniversaries of two deadly earthquakes in 1985 and 2017.

The timing was just a coincidence, the national seismological agency said.

“There is no scientific reason to explain it,” he added.

On September 19, 1985, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake killed more than 10,000 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

On the anniversary of this earthquake in 2017, a magnitude 7.1 quake killed around 370 people, mostly in the capital.

In Monday’s earthquake, a man was killed by falling debris at a shopping center in Manzanillo, in the western state of Colima.

A woman later died from injuries caused by a falling wall in the same town.

Mexico sits in the most seismically and volcanically active area in the world, known as the Ring of Fire, where the Pacific plate meets the surrounding tectonic plates.

Mexico City, which together with surrounding urban areas is home to more than 20 million people, is built in a natural basin filled with sediment from an ancient lake, making it particularly vulnerable to earthquakes.

The capital has an early warning system using seismic monitors that aims to give residents enough time to evacuate buildings when earthquakes hit seismic zones near the Pacific coast.