Mexico rattles by 7.4-magnitude earthquake

Nelson Oliveira New York Daily News (TNS)
An urban search and rescue rescuer looks at a damage bulding since the 2017 earthquake on June 23, 2020 in Mexico City, Mexico. According to the National Seismological Service a 7.5 magnitude earthquake was registered on Tuesday in Mexico City and in various areas of the country.

A major earthquake struck the Mexican state of Oaxaca on Tuesday, killing at least one person and causing widespread damage in the southern part of the country.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 7.4-magnitude quake was reported just before 10:30 a.m., local time, and was centered around 7 miles southwest of Santa María Zapotitlán - more than 400 miles south of Mexico City, where residents also reported feeling the tremor.

The powerful quake prompted a brief tsunami warning, knocked off numerous structures, triggered landslides, swayed buildings and sent thousands of people fleeing for their lives, according to Mexican news outlets and images posted by eyewitnesses on social media.

In the southern town of Huatulco, Oaxaca, at least one person was killed and another was hurt in a building collapse, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a video posted on Twitter.

Shocking images shared online showed buildings and walls shaking in front of terrified onlookers, heavily damaged roads, cars that were hit by falling rocks and even a fire at a refinery.

Local news outlets said multiple people were injured across the region, but the exact number of victims and their condition were not immediately clear.

Mexico’s National Seismological Service said it was a 7.5-magnitude earthquake, a slightly higher level than the USGS’s designation.

The main tremor was followed by hundreds of aftershocks, including a 5.0-magnitude one, the U.S. agency reported.

The southern part of Mexico has seen several major earthquakes over the years, with the deadliest one striking the nearby Michoacan region in 1985. The 8.0-magnitude quake killed at least 9,500 people, injured some 30,000 others and left 100,000 homeless, according to the Geological Survey.