by Staff Writers
Chilpancingo, Mexico (AFP) Dec 11, 2011
The major earthquake that struck southern Mexico killed at least two people and led to power outages in some areas, but wrought surprisingly little structural damage, relieved authorities here said Sunday.
The 6.5-magnitude earthquake shook Mexico late Saturday and was strongly felt in the capital Mexico City and southern Guerrero state.
But a day after the temblor, there was surprisingly little news reporting about it, with most media opting to focus on festivities marking Monday's celebrations honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, a celebration which drew some six million religious pilgrims to Mexico City's basilica.
The relative aplomb displayed on Sunday after the strong quake was evident despite memories of an 8.1 magnitude quake in 1985 which caused massive destruction and led to the deaths of some 10,000 people.
The epicenter of Saturday's quake was about 133 kilometers (83 miles) north of the large beach resort city of Acapulco, on the country's Pacific coast, at a depth of about 65 kilometers (40 miles).
Among the dead were Diego Rios Santana, 18, who died after the roof of the stand where he worked collapsed in the town of Iguala, and 25-year-old Julio Cesar Andrade, who was killed on the Autopista del Sol motorway that connects the capital to Acapulco.
Three other people were injured, according to Humberto Calvo, undersecretary of Guerrero's Civil Protection agency. Authorities had earlier misidentified the age of the person killed in Iguana as 11.
The earthquake caused several landslides, including one that fell on the vehicle Andrade was driving, killing him and wounding two women traveling with him.
Also in Chilpancingo, an 18-month-old boy was hospitalized after a wall fell on top of him.
The National Seismological Service reported several aftershocks, but none greater than magnitude 4.0, and the Civil Protection agency said Saturday's even "will not necessarily be identified as a precursor of an earthquake of great magnitude."
"We are keeping a close watch on the earthquake and will inform the authorities promptly of any significant activity," it added.
Some areas of the capital experienced temporary electricity blackouts immediately after the temblor, and cell phone networks quickly became saturated.
The quake sent hundreds of people celebrating upcoming Christmas festivities at the Telephone Workers Union rushing into the streets. But it only caused minor damage.
Much of Mexico lies on the Pacific Ring of Fire, where most of the world's earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Although many locals are accustomed to earthquakes, this one was considered rather long, with authorities estimating it lasted about 40 seconds.
People in the capital turned to social networks to communicate their concerns after cell phone networks were cut.
Even Mexican President Felipe Calderon took to his Twitter account, urging people to report any damage.
"It was terrible in Contadero. The children have no idea what's going on and the dog is very nervous," Paulina Lopez Noriega wrote on her Facebook account.
Helicopters flew surveillance flights overnight, but routine settled back in on Sunday, with people running, biking and walking their dogs along the wide Paseo de la Reforma avenue.
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Major 6.5 quake hits southern Mexico, 2 dead
Mexico City (AFP) Dec 10, 2011
A major 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Saturday with officials reporting two deaths, as the quake was strongly felt in the capital Mexico City and southern Guerrero state. The temblor occurred at 7:47 pm (0147 GMT Sunday) about 166 kilometers (103 miles) southwest of Mexico City, at a depth of about 65 kilometers, according to US Geological Survey. The epicenter was located 13 ... read more
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