Mexico hit by 6.4-magnitude earthquake

A powerful 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific coast of Mexico on Thursday, shaking the capital city and sending frightened people into unseasonal torrential rains as they drenched the coast.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

While no major damage was caused to buildings, a “wave of panic” struck Tecpan, near the epicentre, after some roofs caved in, said Mayor Crisoforo Otero Heredia.

The quake had its epicentre about 9 miles north of Tecpan de Galeana, in the southern state of Guerrero, with a depth of 15 miles, according to the US Geological Survey.

Tremors were felt around 171 miles (277 km) away in Mexico City, where officers workers fled from tall buildings.

Businesswoman Carmen Lopez spoke to reporters as she left a downtown office in the capital building after the ground began to shake.

“That was just too scary,” said Lopez, before calling friends and family to tell them that she was safe.

Behind her, thousands of people left nearby office buildings via pre-planned evacuation routes, to areas considered safe from any potential of falling debris, including glass.

The last quake to hit Mexico was on 18 April, when 7.2-magnitude tremors with an epicentre about 40 miles (66 kilometers) from Thursday's quake shook central and southern Mexico.

That quake occurred along a section of the Pacific Coast known as the Guerrero Seismic Gap, a 125-mile (200-kilometer) section where tectonic plates meet and have been locked, meaning huge amounts of energy are being stored up with potentially devastating effects.

The USGS says the Guerrero Gap has the potential to produce a quake as strong as magnitude 8.4, potentially much more powerful than the magnitude-8.1 quake that killed 9,500 people and devastated large sections of Mexico City in 1985.

Additional reporting by AP

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