Earthquake in Mexico: a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.2 with epicenter southeast of Pinotepa Nacional shakes the center and south of the country

Earthquake in Mexico: a strong earthquake of magnitude 7.2 with epicenter southeast of Pinotepa Nacional shakes the center and south of the country


A strong earthquake of magnitude 7.2 shook in the afternoon of this Friday the center and south of Mexico, without reports of injuries or fatalities due to the earthquake.

Thirteen people, however, were killed in Oaxaca by the fall of the helicopter used by Mexico’s Interior Minister, Alfonso Navarrete, and the governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat, to inspect the effects of the earthquake.

Both Navarrete and Murat were unharmed in the accident .

Originally the Ministry of the Interior had encrypted the death toll in two, in a message posted on their official Twitter account.

But the State Prosecutor General’s Office subsequently increased the figure to 13, in a statement in which it also said that it had recovered the bodies of 12 of the victims: 5 women, 4 men, 2 girls and 1 boy.

The earthquake was originally reported with a magnitude of 7.5 by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which also located its epicenter 2 kilometers southeast of Pinotepa Nacional , in the state of Oaxaca.

The Seismological Institute of Mexico, meanwhile, placed it 11 kilometers from the aforementioned locality and indicated that in the following hours more than 200 replicas were registered.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, however, said there was no threat of giant waves.

According to USGS data, the earthquake originated more than 24 km deep at 5:39 pm local time (23:39 GMT).

Only one hour later, another earthquake occurred in the same state, in this case, of magnitude 5.8.

Oaxaca: the most affected region

The greatest destruction is reported on the coast of Oaxaca, in the municipalities of Santiago Pinotepa Nacional, San Jose del Progreso, Jamiltepec, Huazolotitlan, Rio Grande, San Pedro Tututepec and Santa Maria Zacatepec.

Some buildings suffered damage but in the first hours no deaths had been reported.

“We are used to tremors, a lot happens here, but yesterday was terrible, we thought everything was going to fall,” says Carmen Karely de Las Salinas, an inhabitant of Pinotepa Nacional who works in a taxi base.

His house and those in the vicinity were damaged. “The houses are old and humble, they were very bad,” he says.

A construction destroyed by the earthquake
Image caption The greatest destruction was reported on the coast of Oaxaca.

“Most of the neighbors slept on the street in makeshift beds with their sheets and it seems that no one is going to return for fear of replication,” he says.

The earthquake was followed by hundreds of aftershocks, although most were imperceptible.

With the earthquake the electricity and the internet were cut off and the telephone lines were intermittent in the affected municipalities.

“We were disconnected, the light returned until 3 in the morning, the hardest thing was the time we had no way of knowing how other people were,” he says.

In Pinotepa some streets were impossible to transit due to landslides. Bricks, glasses, cables thrown everywhere.

“I work in front of the Pedro Espinoza Ruedas Regional Hospital and I saw how people ran away, now patients are still out.”

Hospital patients seen on the street
Image caption The General Hospital of Jamiltepec was evacuated.

Panic in Mexico City

The director of the federal commission of electricity, Jaime Hernandez, confirmed that the power supply of 998,000 homes and businesses was affected in the capital and the states of Mexico, Oaxaca, Guerrero and Morelos.

Witnesses in Mexico City, about 360 kilometers north of the epicenter, reported that the earthquake was felt much intensities d, although less than the September 19 which left 369 dead, according to official data.

The inhabitants of the capital heard the seismic warning that is issued on loudspeakers in the streets, in media transmissions and on mobile devices.

That offers up to a minute for people to look for a safe place .

In the capital scenes of panic were recorded. Thousands of people went out to the street. Some shouted, others cried and embraced, reported the BBC World correspondent in Mexico, Ana Gabriela Rojas.

In Colonia Condesa, a central neighborhood and one of the most affected in the earthquake of September 19, traffic stopped for a few minutes.

The atmosphere was filled with dust from buildings that are damaged and unoccupied since the previous big quake, almost five months ago.

“A strong reminder”

” It was a strong reminder that the city can collapse at any minute, we live in a seismic zone ,” Christian Hernandez, an elementary school teacher who walked his dog when he felt the tremor, told BBC.

Mexico City.
Copyright of the REUTERS image.
Image caption Patients from a clinic in the center of the capital were evacuated after the quake.

“Since September 19, we did not feel so afraid,” Luis Rodríguez, a shoemaker, told BBC.

“It feels very scary to think that your house can fall on you at any minute,” said a woman outside her home, who came out in a bathrobe.

In some restaurants, however, the activity stopped only momentarily .

“If we are going to die, it is better to die singing,” said one of the mariachis who acted in La Morena, an establishment of the Countess.

Image caption The epicenter was located south of Oaxaca, as shown by the map published by USGS.

The National Coordinator of Civil Protection of Mexico, Luis Felipe Puente, explained on Twitter that the infrastructure of communications and transportation were not affected and operated normally minutes after the earthquake.

For his part, the CEO of Pemex oil company, Carlos Treviño, said in social networks that “all refineries and gas processing centers are fine .”

Mexico is a country prone to earthquakes. Only five months ago the country experienced another strong earthquake , of magnitude 7.1.

On that occasion, the epicenter was located in the state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, and caused the death of 369 people.

The most devastating occurred in September 1985, when 12,000 people died.

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