Now Mexico is shaken by earthquake

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The Independent US

Southern Mexico was hit by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake today that shook buildings in the capital, Mexico City, but there were no immediate reports of deaths or damage.

Hundreds of people evacuated buildings in the capital, many of them wearing surgical face masks due to the deadly swine flu outbreak that is suspected of causing 149 deaths in Mexico.

The US Geological Survey said the quake's epicenter was 19 miles (30 km) south-southeast of Tixtla, Guerrero, about 150 miles (240 km) from Mexico City. Its epicenter was 25.6 miles (40 km) deep.

"It felt really strong here. There's been no one hurt or killed ... we're monitoring the situation in the area," said Marcos Gonzalez, a civil protection official in the city of Chilpancingo, near the epicenter.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or damage from the quake in Mexico City, whose sprawling metropolitan area has a population of around 20 million, a civil protection official said.

Quakes of magnitude 6.0 are classified as strong and are capable of causing severe damage.

The Mexican peso, already battered by jitters over the swine flu outbreak, fell back to its earlier lows following the earthquake.

Mexico's health minister, Jose Angel Cordova, said today that the outbreak of swine flu was suspected to have killed 149 people in the country and the number of cases was seen rising.