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A 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook much of Mexico in the early hours of Thursday, killing two people in the capital, some of whom panicked and took to the streets in their night clothes.
The quake was recorded at 1:16 a.m. local time (06:16 GMT) with its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean and was the most powerful of nearly 1,300 aftershocks recorded since last Monday’s 7.7-magnitude quake, which also killed two people lost their lives and damaged more than 3,000 buildings, according to the National Seismological Service.
“Fortunately, no major damage was caused. Of course, we regret the loss of two people here in Mexico City,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at the beginning of his morning press conference.
The dead in the capital are a man who suffered a heart attack and a woman who cracked her head when she fell down the stairs of her home after the seismic alarm was activated, the local mayor’s office reported.
With a thunderous sound, this alert travels faster than seismic waves and gives an average of one minute warning before major tellurium movement occurs, allowing homes to be evacuated or a safe area to be found.
The earthquake surprised Mexico City residents as they were already asleep. Many of them ran away when they heard the alarm, wearing their pajamas and some carrying their dogs, which would not stop barking.
The epicenter was 84 km from Coalcomán, in Michoacán state (west), where Monday’s main event originated. Initially, the Seismological Service had estimated a magnitude of 6.5 for the movement on Thursday.
Shortly after the shock, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the quake could be felt in Mexico City and in the states of Michoacán, Colima, Jalisco and Guerrero, all with Pacific coasts.
“So far, there has been no damage report,” the president said in video recorded in his office while speaking with the capital’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, and broadcast on Twitter.
The earthquake was strongly felt in several areas of Mexico City and its metropolitan area, which is about 600 km from the epicenter and is home to around 22 million people.
After the quake, Sheinbaum reported that official helicopters flew over the city and there were no reports of damage.
“So far there has been no damage to the city after the earthquake. I’m still waiting and reporting,” Sheinbaum said on Twitter.
– Earthquake Week –
Last Monday, a powerful earthquake struck Mexico less than an hour after millions of people took part in an exercise held every 19th March.
In 1985, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico, leaving much of the capital in ruins. According to the registry office, more than 10,000 people died in the city alone.
Meanwhile, on September 19, 2017, another 7.1 magnitude earthquake surprised Mexicans, leaving 369 dead.
Experts from the National Seismological Service said Monday that the occurrence of these three earthquakes on the same day was the result of pure coincidence. Mexico experiences intense seismic activity because it is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, which connects America to Asia and is where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.