A major earthquake in southern Mexico killed at least two people. Thousands of people ended up on the street, including hospital patients.
The epicenter of an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 was located in the resort of Huatulco, but the tremors affected buildings in Mexico City. One local resident died, another was injured in a building collapse in Huatulco (Oaxaca), said Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The second victim was killed in an apparent house collapse in the mountain village of San Juan Ozolotepec. The state-owned oil company, known as Pemex, said the earthquake caused a fire at its refinery on the Pacific coast of Salina Cruz, near the epicenter. One worker was injured, but the flames were quickly put out. Mr. Lopez Obrador said there were over 140 tremors, most of which were small.
The US Geological Survey said the earthquake occurred at 10:29 local time along the southern Pacific coast in Mexico at a depth of 16 miles. The epicenter was located seven miles southwest of Santa Maria Zapotitlan in Oaxaca. Tremors were felt in Guatemala, in the south and in the center of Mexico. In Huatulco, famous for surfing and its small bays, an earthquake knocked goods from shelves in stores, some buildings were badly damaged. Marie Gonzalez from the Princess Mayev Hotel said staff and guests were able to leave the building before the earthquake, but were forced to wait on the street even 45 minutes later – as strong shocks continued.
Local media reported damage to some buildings in the state capital, Oaxaca. Government officials said they were still assessing the damage. According to USGS estimates, about two million people felt severe or moderate tremors, and another 49 million felt mild or mild tremors. An earthquake struck a seismically dangerous area, where four underground tectonic plates come together.
Over the past 35 years, there have been at least seven earthquakes with a magnitude of 7 points or more, which killed about 10,000 people.