At least 5 dead, several feared trapped as 7.4 quake strikes southern Mexico
A powerful earthquake centered on Mexico’s Pacific coast shook southern and central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least five people.
The magnitude 7.4 quake struck at 10:29 a.m. about 40 miles from the beach resort of Huatulco in Oaxaca state, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The same region was battered by a deadly quake in 2017.
At least five people died and several more were injured, according to Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat. He said rescuers were responding to reports of 15 people trapped under rubble in a small mountain town that was difficult to access.
Mexico’s civil protection agency said at least three hospitals had been damaged and sections of four highways had been wiped out by landslides triggered by the earthquake.
The quake was felt as far away as Guatemala to the south and Mexico City to the north, where apartment buildings and office towers swayed, electrical transformers exploded and thousands of people sought safety in the streets.
Seismic alarms in the capital sounded a full minute before the shaking began, giving residents time to flee.
Power was knocked out in some parts of the city, and the facades of several dozen buildings suffered damage, said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum. But no structures fell.
Mexico’s naval secretary issued several tsunami warnings, saying that “atypical variations in sea level” of up to 3½ feet above normal were expected.
Officials expressed relief that such a powerful quake did not inflict more widespread damage.
More than 70 people died in Oaxaca in September 2017 when a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off the coast of neighboring Chiapas state. Buildings in Juchitán de Zaragoza, Oaxaca, about 70 miles from the epicenter of Tuesday’s earthquake, were reduced to rubble.
Nearly two weeks later, a second powerful earthquake struck near Mexico City, bringing down dozens of buildings and killing hundreds of people in the capital.
Cecilia Sánchez in The Times’ Mexico City bureau contributed to this report.
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