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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
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

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Designer / Design Director

£38000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This B2B content marketing agen...

Austen Lloyd: Law Costs HOD - Southampton

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: An outstanding new...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn