Major quake shakes southern Mexico, not less than six killed

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By Jose Cortes

LA CRUCECITA, Mexico (Reuters) – A robust earthquake of magnitude 7.four struck southern Mexico’s Pacific coast on Tuesday, killing not less than six folks and significantly injuring others in remoted villages, whereas inflicting injury to buildings tons of of miles away in Mexico City.

The fatalities have been near the quake’s heart in Oaxaca, a mountainous state identified for its espresso, mescal and Spanish colonial structure.

A Reuters witness within the state’s Pacific coast resort city of La Crucecita, which Mexican authorities mentioned was the epicenter of the earthquake, noticed anxious residents standing exterior their houses hours after the tremor as they feared lethal aftershocks.

Houses have been scarred by broad cracks throughout partitions and residents sought to clear particles from the streets. About 200 homes within the space have been broken, together with 30 that have been badly impacted, a neighborhood official mentioned.

“We lost everything in one moment to nature,” mentioned Vicente Romero, an proprietor of a stationary retailer whose home suffered structural injury. “This is our life’s work.”

Rockfalls blocked winding mountain roads between the state capital of Oaxaca metropolis and the coast. Rescue employees reported three folks significantly injured within the distant hill village of Santa Catarina Xanaguia, one state official mentioned.

Rescue employees battled for hours to reach the settlement, near the epicenter, the place the quake introduced down houses and elements of the mountainside, the official mentioned.

A clinic and outdated church buildings near the epicenter have been severely broken, pictures on social media confirmed.

The useless included a employee from state oil firm Pemex in Oaxaca, who fell from a peak on the nation’s largest oil refinery. The refinery was briefly closed after a fireplace.

Miguel Candelaria, 30, was working at his laptop in his household home within the Oaxaca city of Juchitan when the bottom trembled. He ran exterior with kin, however they stopped in the midst of the road because the pavement buckled and rocked.

“We couldn’t walk… the street was like chewing gum,” mentioned Candelaria, 30.

Quakes of magnitudes over 7 are main earthquakes able to widespread, heavy injury.

MEXICO CITY SHAKES

In Mexico City, buildings shook strongly and other people bumped into the streets when an early warning seismic alarm sounded.

Two folks have been injured and greater than 30 buildings within the capital suffered injury, officers mentioned, together with buildings nonetheless scarred from a 2017 earthquake that killed 355 folks within the capital and the encircling states.

Water from rooftop swimming pools or tanks cascaded down residential buildings within the metropolis, and building employees on the 56th story of a brand new residential tower clung to one another because it swayed, pictures on social media confirmed.

The U.S. Geological Survey mentioned the epicenter of Tuesday’s quake was situated 69 km (43 miles) northeast of the city of Pochutla. It was very shallow, solely 26 km (16 miles) beneath the earth’s floor, which might have amplified the shaking.

Near to the epicenter, Magdalena Castellanos Fermin was within the village of Santiago Astata when the “really intense” quake struck, sending giant rocks tumbling down the hillside and alarming residents, she instructed Reuters by phone.

Eunice Pineda, a 26-year-old trainer in Juchitan, mentioned the quake “was two minutes of torture,” as she feared her home would collapse.

But residents in considered one of Mexico’s most seismically energetic areas have realized to “live one day at a time,” Pineda added.

“We learn to appreciate, to treasure every moment,” she mentioned.

(Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel, Julia Love, Adriana Barrera, Stefanie Eschenbacher, Dave Graham, Daina Beth Solomon, Sharay Angulo, Raul Cortes and Anthony Esposito in Mexico City and Sandra Maler in Washington; Writing by Alistair Bell and Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Michael Perry)