Powerful earthquake near Acapulco, Mexico kills at least 1

A powerful earthquake struck Tuesday night near the Pacific resort town of Acapulco, killing at least one person, causing buildings to tip and sway in Mexico City nearly 200 miles away.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centered about 5 miles east-southeast of Pueblo Madero in Guerrero state, about 30 miles inland. of the lands of Acapulco.

Guerrero state governor Hector Astudillo told Milenio Television on Tuesday evening that a person was killed when a post fell in the town of Coyuca de Benitez, near Acapulco.

“We heard noise from the building, noise from the windows, things fell inside the house, the power was cut,” said Sergio Flores, a resident of Acapulco reached by phone. “We heard water running, the water came out of the pool and you heard people screaming, very nervous people.”

Flores said all he could do when he started to shake was give his wife a hug. He saw people leaving hotels around the bay and some rushing to parking lots to collect their cars, fearing a collapse.

“We were all worried about a change in the sea, but so far authorities have not said anything about a tsunami warning,” he said.

People check their cell phones outside the Veracruz General Hospital after Tuesday’s earthquake.

(Felix Marquez / Associated Press)

Astudillo said the tsunami warning center had not recorded any changes in sea level. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later said the threat of potential waves had passed.

The mayor of Acapulco, Adela Román, said in a statement to the Milenio newscast that “there is no really serious situation” so far.

“There are nervous breakdowns; people are worried because there have been aftershocks, ”she said, adding that there are“ many gas leaks in many places ”as well as landslides and collapsed walls.

Before the first death was reported, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said via Twitter that authorities in the four states where the tremors were most severe told him there had been no casualties or damage. grave beyond some collapsed walls and falling rocks.

“Fortunately, there is no serious damage,” he said.

Mexico’s National Civil Defense said it was conducting reviews in 10 states, but had not received any reports of casualties or serious damage.

In Mexico City, the ground shook for nearly a minute in some parts of the capital, but the shaking was less evident in other parts. Some people briefly evacuated their buildings, but most quickly returned indoors on a rainy night.

“I was at home with my mother and my dogs and the earthquake alert started sounding,” said makeup artist Claudia Guarneros. “My mom was in another room and I started calling her. The house started to move, and in the last part of the earthquake the power went out and we couldn’t see anything, we just saw things fall.

Authorities in Mexico City said there were no first reports of significant damage in the capital, although electricity was cut in some neighborhoods. Broken windows in a downtown skyscraper covered the glass sidewalk.

Arturo Hernández stood in front of the relatively new building he had moved into three years ago. Next to it was a taller building that had been abandoned since the 7.1 magnitude earthquake of September 19, 2017, in neighboring Puebla state, which caused extensive damage in the capital.

Hernández heard the seismic alarm and got out before the ground started to shake. The abandoned building next to his continued to crackle and moan for three minutes after the shaking stopped, he said. When asked if he was worried about the damaged building next door, he replied, “Always, always.”

Tuesday’s earthquake came four years to the day after a magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck off the coast of the Mexican state of Chiapas, largely destroying the city of Juchitan in neighboring state of ‘Oaxaca and killing dozens.

Find out what to do before and during an earthquake near you by signing up for our Unshaken newsletter, which breaks down emergency preparedness into small steps over six weeks. Find out about the seismic kits, the apps you need, the most important tips from Lucy Jones and more at latimes.com/Unshaken.

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