World

Strong earthquake shakes Mexico’s Pacific coast; 1 killed


MEXICO CITY: A 7.6 degrees richter earthquake shaking the heart of Mexico Thai sea butter Binh Duong on Monday, killing at least one person and setting off a seismic alert in the bustling capital on the anniversary of two previous devastating earthquakes.
There are at least some initial reports of damage to buildings from the quake that struck at 1:05 p.m. local time, which, according to the United States Geological Survey, initially raised the magnitude to 7.5.
It said the quake was centered 37 km (23 mi) southeast of Aquila near the border of the states of Colima and Michoacan and at a depth of 15.1 km (9.4 mi).
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said via Twitter that the navy minister told him one person was killed in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima when a wall at a shopping mall collapsed.
In Coalcoman, Michoacan, near the quake’s epicenter, buildings were damaged, but there were no immediate reports of injuries.
“It started slowly and then got really strong and continued and continued until it started to go into remission,” said Carla Cardenas, 16, a resident of Coalcoman. Cardenas ran out of her family hotel and waited for the neighbors.
She said the hotel and some houses along the street had cracks in the walls and parts of the facade and roof were broken.
“In the hotel, the roof of the parking area flared up and fell to the ground, and there were cracks in the wall on the second floor,” Cardenas said.
She said the town’s hospital was severely damaged, but so far she has not heard of anyone injured.
The Mexican National Civil Defense agency said that, based on historical data on tsunamis in Mexico, there could be variations of up to 32 inches (82 cm) in coastal water near the epicenter. The US Tsunami Warning Center said dangerous tsunamis were possible for coasts within 186 miles (300 km) of the epicenter.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum tweeted that there were no reports of damage in the capital
The new earthquake alert came less than an hour after the quake alarm was warmed up in a nationwide earthquake simulation that marked major earthquakes that occurred on the same day in 1985 and 2017. A magnitude 8.0 earthquake centered near the coast of Guerrero state in 1985 killed at least 9,500 people. More than 360 people died in the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck in 2017.
“It’s a coincidence,” that this was the third earthquake to hit on September 19, seismologist Paul Earle of the United States Geological Survey said. “There is no physical reason or statistical bias for earthquakes in any given month in Mexico.”
There’s also no season or month for major earthquakes around the globe, says Earle. But one thing is predictable: People look for and sometimes find pattern-like coincidences.
“We knew we were going to get this question as soon as it happened,” Earle said. “Sometimes it’s just coincidences.”
Earle said the quake was not related to or caused by the drill an hour earlier, nor was it related to a dam that caused damage in Taiwan the day before.
Humberto Garza stands outside a restaurant in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood holding his 3-year-old son. Like many people outside after the quake, Garza said the quake alarm went off shortly after the annual simulation made him unsure it was real.
“I heard the alarm, but it sounded very far away,” he said.
Outside the city’s environmental inspector’s office, dozens of employees were waiting. Some seem visibly shaken.
Power outages in parts of the city, including stop lights, hit the capital’s already notorious traffic.
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AP writers Christopher Sherman in Mexico City and Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.





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