MEXICO CITY — A powerful earthquake shook Mexico City on Friday, triggering the capital’s quake alarm system and causing buildings to sway.
Mexico’s National Seismological Service put the magnitude of the quake at 7.0, and seismic monitor network Sky Alert said the quake was felt across the states of Guerrero, Oaxaca and Puebla.
The US Geological Survey initially gave the quake’s magnitude as 7.5, later revising it down to 7.2, and located its epicenter 37 kilometers (22 miles) northeast of Pinotepa de Don Luis, in the southwestern state of Oaxaca.
Crowds of people gathered on Mexico City’s central Reforma Avenue as well as on streets in Oaxaca state’s capital, nearer the quake’s epicenter.
“It was awful,” said Mercedes Rojas Huerta, 57, who was sitting on a bench outside her home in Mexico City’s trendy Condesa district, too frightened to go back inside. “It started to shake; the cars were going here and there. What do I do?”
Mexican Civil Protection chief Luis Felipe Fuente tweeted that there were no immediate reports of major damages from Friday’s quake.
The Red Cross reported the facade from a building in the Condesa neighborhood, which was hit hard on September. 19, collapsed. And at least one strong aftershock shook buildings again in Mexico City.
In Oaxaca, Gov. Alejandro Murat said via Twitter that damage was being evaluated, but there were so far no reports of deaths.
The US National Weather service said it was not issuing a tsunami alert.
The latest tremor comes less than six months after a pair of devastating earthquakes killed hundreds of people in central and southern Mexico. An Israeli search and rescue team was the first international assistance to reach the central American nation after those quakes.
On September 7 last year, an 8.2 earthquake shook the nation and killed 96 people, mostly in the state of Oaxaca.
Then on September 19 — the 32nd anniversary of a huge 1985 quake that killed 10,000 people — another 7.1 quake rocked the country, leaving 369 people dead.