Magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes Mexico; no fatalities reported

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Map illustrating earthquake impact area
Image: USGS.

A significant earthquake has impacted Mexico on a part of the coast bordering the Pacific Ocean. No fatalities have been reported thus far.

The United States Geological Survey [USGS] has registered the magnitude of the earthquake today as 7.4. USGS has attributed the quake epicentre to a location 25 kilometres (15 miles) to the east of Ometepec in the state of Guerrero, in close proximity to the city of Acapulco. The depth of the epicentre was approximately 18 kilometres (11 miles) below surface level, USGS clarified.

A statement from a state governor in Guerrero reported damage to five hundred houses in the state. In the capital Mexico City, a pedestrian bridge was also reported to have collapsed, crushing a minibus in the process.

In the substantially impacted Mexican state of Oaxaca, one witness named Sylvia Valencia described the earthquake as "hard", "strong" and "long". Irma Ortiz, another witness from the same state, said of the quake: "It was very strong, but we didn't see anything fall". A Spanish language tweet from Mexico president Felipe Calderón spoke of "scenes of panic and building evacuations".

According to Mexican seismological service director Carlos Valdes Gonzalez, six aftershocks have occurred in the aftermath of the earthquake, with one measuring at magnitude 5.3. Additional aftershocks were anticipated for another 24 hours, Gonzalez claimed.

This story has updates
See Wikinews Shorts: March 21, 2012#Mexico damaged by quake, March 21, 2012