Monday, October 3, 2022

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At least one dead after powerful earthquake hits Mexico

The quake hits western Mexico on the anniversary of two previous tremors that rocked the country in 1985 and 2017.

A powerful 7.6 magnitude earthquake has struck western Mexico, killing at least one person and sparking panic in the country’s capital on the anniversary of two earlier tremors.

The earthquake struck just after 1:00 p.m. local time (4:00 p.m. GMT) Monday and was concentrated in the border area between the states of Michoacan and Colima at a depth of about 15 km (9 miles), according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). .

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a video address that one person died in the Pacific port of Manzanillo after a wall collapsed at a store.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said there were no immediate reports of damage in the capital after the earthquake that struck Mexico on the same day that major tremors struck the country in 1985 and 2017.

“It’s that date, there’s something about the 19th,” said Ernesto Lanzetta, a business owner in the city’s Cuauhtemoc area. “The 19th is a day to fear.”

The September 19, 2017 earthquake killed more than 350 people, while the other on the same day in 1985 killed thousands.

Al Jazeera’s John Holman, reporting from Mexico City, said many in Mexico considered the timing of Monday’s quake “really bizarre.”

“It happened on the exact anniversary — September 19 — like two other major earthquakes in Mexico,” Holman said. “These last two earthquakes have really wreaked havoc, especially here in the capital.”

Earthquake early warnings went off in Mexico City on Monday, less than an hour after the capital held emergency drills amid events surrounding the previous two disasters.

“It felt awful. We went down as soon as we felt it when the alarm sounded,” said Karina Suarez, 37, after evacuating the building where she lives in the capital.

Power went out in parts of the central Roma area of ​​Mexico City, about 400 km (250 miles) from the epicenter.

Local residents with pets lined the streets, while tourists visiting a local market with a local guide were visibly confused and upset. Traffic lights stopped working and people were clutching their phones, texting or waiting for calls to come through.

“I thought I was having a heart attack,” said Gabriela Ramirez, 58, one of the many city residents who rushed into the street.

Michoacan’s Department of Public Safety said it had not received any reports of serious damage in the state.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued warnings for parts of Mexico’s west coast and said dangerous waves were possible within 300 km (186 miles) of the quake’s epicenter.

Mexico’s National Civil Defense Agency did not issue a similar warning and said it does not expect sea level fluctuations.

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