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Magnitude 5.0 earthquake hits southern Mexico

The incident occurred at around 8.40am PT on Thursday

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Thursday 18 January 2024 18:17 GMT
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Magnitude 5.0 earthquake hits southern Mexico
Magnitude 5.0 earthquake hits southern Mexico (Getty Images)

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake has hit southern Oaxaca State, Mexico, though no casualties have been reported.

The incident occurred at around 8.40am PT on Thursday. The epicentre was located about seven miles east of Santa Maria Zapotitlan, according to Crisis24.

The tremor occurred at a depth of about 29 miles, and light shaking was probably felt throughout much of Oaxaca and parts of southern Veracruz and western Chiapas states.

According to Crisis 24, there have been no initial reports of damage or casualties as a result of the earthquake, however, significant damage is unlikely.

Comprehensive damage assessments, especially in remote areas may take authorities several hours to conduct, and light aftershocks are expected over the coming days.

Transportation infrastructure may also be shut down in the tremor zone while damage checks are made, causing minor disruptions.

Utility outages are possible, particularly near the earthquake’s epicentre.

Birds fly over debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Otis in October (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Quake monitoring site Volcano Discovery reported that the closest larger town where the quake might have been felt is Crucecita, a town with 15,100 inhabitants in Oaxaca, Mexico. The town is location 22 miles northwest of the epicentre.

People likely experienced light shaking shaking there.

In the capital Mexico City, over 340 miles away from the epicentre, the earthquake was probably felt only as very weak shaking.

Crisis24 advises that those within the tremor zone consider vacating multistory buildings where shaking occurred until authorities confirm their structural integrity as well as monitoring and planning for aftershocks.

In October, a 4.4-magnitude earthquake was detected in the resort city of Zihuatanejo, northwest of Acapulco, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Otis.

Videos from the scene showed palm tress stripped bare of their leaves and badly damaged buildings including a hospital and shopping centre. The storm also triggered landslides, with images showing rescue workers helping those caught up in the slips.

The storm was the strongest to make landfall on the country’s west coast, having gone from Category 1 to a Category 5 storm in only 12 hours — the fastest rate ever recorded in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

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