Mexico hit by 7.2 magnitude earthquake

There were no reports of major casualties after the earthquake

A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook central and southern Mexico on Friday morning local time. There were no reports of major casualties.

The US Geological Survey said the quake which hit at about 9:30am (14:30 GMT) was centred on a long-dormant fault line north-west of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are spending the Easter holiday.

The tremor struck in Tecpan de Galeana, 170 miles (273 km) south-west of the capital Mexico City, and was felt across at least half a dozen states. There were no early reports of serious damage or injuries near the epicentre.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said there were small power cuts from fallen transformers but officials were working to restore the service.

As Mexico City sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds, it is vulnerable to even distant earthquakes. The damage in the capital in the wake of the tremour left several walls collapse, large cracks formed in some facades, and debris covering pavements.

In Acapulco, 59-year-old Enedina Ramirez Perez was having breakfast and enjoying the Easter holiday with about 20 family members, when her hotel was hit by the quake.

“People were turning over chairs in their desperation to get out, grabbing children, trampling people,” the Mexico City woman said. “The hotel security was excellent and starting calming people down. They got everyone to leave quietly.”

The USGS initially calculated the quake's magnitude at 7.5, but later downgraded it to 7.2. It said the quake was centred 22 miles (36km) north-west of the town of Tecpan de Galeana, and was 15 miles (24km) deep.

Friday’s earthquake occurred along a section of the Pacific Coast known as the Guerrero Seismic Gap, a 125-mile (200km) section where tectonic plates meet and have been locked, meaning huge amounts of energy are being stored up with potentially devastating effects, said USGS seismologist Gavin Hayes.

The last large quake that occurred along the section was a magnitude-7.6 temblor in 1911, he said.

He added that scientists will be watching the area more intensely because moderate quakes such as Friday's can destabilise the surrounding sections of seismic plate and increase the chance of a more powerful temblor.

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.

The 1985 quake was centred 250 miles (400km) from the capital on the Pacific Coast.

Additional reporting by PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
British musician Mark Ronson arrives for the UK premiere of the film 'Mortdecai'
music
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us