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Strong quake sways buildings in Mexico City

June 15, 2013|By Tracy Wilkinson
  • Mexico City residents leave their homes after a quake early Sunday.
Mexico City residents leave their homes after a quake early Sunday. (Alfredo Estrella, AFP/Getty…)

MEXICO CITY — A powerful two-punch earthquake shook western Mexico early Sunday, knocking out electricity and cellular phone service in parts of this sprawling capital. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or fatalities.

Initial readings put the quake at a magnitude of 5.9 at around 12:30 a.m., with the epicenter about 90 miles south of Mexico City in the northern part of Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located.

It was felt with marked strength in Mexico City, swaying major apartment buildings, hotels and skyscrapers. Residents scooted from their homes, some in pajamas, or filed out of late-night bars and restaurants. Many remained in the streets long after the quake ended, bracing for aftershocks.

The shaking began gently, paused, then gave a good rattling to buildings in much of the capital.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, whose inspectors immediately took to flight in helicopters and fanned out through city streets, said there were no reports of serious damage but that several neighborhoods were without electricity. Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong also said there were no reports of damage at the national level.

Mexico is accustomed to such quakes, and a fairly strict system of checks and controls whips into place at the first sign of serious shaking. In 1985, parts of the Mexican capital were destroyed and at least 10,000 people were killed in a devastating quake.

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