Sturdy quake close to Mexico’s resort of Acapulco kills not less than 1: NPR

A couple walk past a taxi that was damaged by falling debris after a major earthquake in Acapulco, Mexico, Tuesday. The quake shook southern Mexico near the resort of Acapulco, causing buildings in Mexico City to rock and sway nearly 200 miles away. Bernardino Hernandez / AP hide caption

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Bernardino Hernandez / AP

A couple walk past a taxi that was damaged by falling debris after a major earthquake in Acapulco, Mexico, Tuesday. The quake shook southern Mexico near the resort of Acapulco, causing buildings in Mexico City to rock and sway nearly 200 miles away.

Bernardino Hernandez / AP

MEXICO CITY – A major earthquake struck near the Pacific resort town of Acapulco on Tuesday evening, killing at least one person and rocking and swaying buildings in Mexico City nearly 200 miles away.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7 and was located about 10 miles northeast of Acapulco.

Guerrero state governor Hector Astudillo told Milenio Television late Tuesday evening that a person was killed by a falling post in the town of Coyuca de Benitez, near Acapulco.

“We heard loud noises from the building, noises from the windows, things falling into the house, the power went out,” said Sergio Flores, an Acapulco resident, who was reached by phone. “We heard water coming out, the water ran out of the pool and you heard people screaming, very nervous people.”

Flores said he could only hug his wife when it started shaking. He saw people leaving hotels around the bay and some running into parking decks to remove their cars because they feared they would collapse.

“We were all concerned about a change in the sea, but so far the authorities have not said anything about a tsunami alert,” he said.

Astudillo said the tsunami warning center had not registered any fluctuations in sea level. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later said the potential wave threat was over.

The mayor of Acapulco, Adela Román, said in a statement to the television station Milenio that “so far there has been no really serious situation” and no reports of victims.

“There are nervous breakdowns; people are worried because there have been aftershocks,” she said, adding that there were “a lot of gas leaks in many places,” as well as some landslides and collapsed walls.

Before the first death was reported, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said via Twitter that authorities in the four states where the earthquake was most felt had told him that apart from a few collapsed walls and falling rocks, there had been no casualties or serious damage give.

“Fortunately, there is no serious damage,” he said.

Mexico’s National Civil Protection said it is conducting audits in 10 states but has received no reports of casualties or serious damage.

In Mexico City, nearly 300 kilometers away, the ground shook for almost a minute in some parts of the capital, but the quake was less noticeable in other parts. Some people briefly evacuated their buildings, but most went back inside quickly on a rainy night.

“I was at home with my mother and my dogs and the earthquake alarm started to sound,” said Claudia Guarneros, makeup artist. “My mom was in another room and I called her. The house started moving and in the last part of the earthquake the power went out and we couldn’t see anything, we just saw some things fall.”

Mexico City authorities said there were no initial reports of significant damage in the city, despite a power outage in some neighborhoods. Several broken windows in a downtown skyscraper covered the sidewalk with glass.

Arturo Hernández stood in front of the relatively new house into which he only moved three years ago. Next to it was a taller building that had been abandoned since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake on September 19, 2017 in the neighboring state of Puebla, which caused great damage in the capital.

Hernández heard the seismic alarm and made it outside before the ground began to shake. The abandoned building next to his cracked and groaned for three minutes after the shaking stopped, he said. When asked if he was concerned about the damaged building next door, he said, “Always, always.”

Tuesday’s earthquake occurred exactly four years to the day after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, largely devastating the city of Juchitan in neighboring Oaxaca, killing dozens of people.

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