MEXICO CITY – A magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck western Mexico on Monday on the anniversary of two devastating temblors, killing at the very least two people, damaging buildings, knocking out power and sending residents of Mexico City scrambling outside for safety.
Two died within the Pacific port of Manzanillo, authorities said, one crushed by the facade of a department store while one other was found dead at a mall. Videos on social media showed the roof of the mall collapsed into the highest floor, a gym, as people yelled for help.
Authorities also reported damage to several hospitals within the western state of Michoacan near the epicenter, which was in a sparsely populated a part of Mexico. One person was injured by falling glass at one in every of the hospitals, the federal government said.
The quake hit shortly after 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) near Mexico’s west coast and shut to Michoacan’s border with the state of Colima – where major port Manzanillo is positioned, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.
It was relatively shallow, at only 15 km (9 miles) deep, which might have amplified its impact.
The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a tsunami warning for coastal areas, saying waves reaching 1 to three meters (3 to 9 feet) above the tide level were possible.
Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said there have been no immediate reports of major damage within the capital after the quake struck, which rumbled through Mexico on the identical day as destructive earthquakes battered the country in 1985 and 2017.
“It looks as if a curse,” Isa Montes, a 34-year-old graphic designer in town’s central Roma neighborhood, said of the quake’s timing as helicopters flew overhead, surveying town.
The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), one in every of the country’s most prestigious seats of upper learning, said there was no scientific explanation for 3 major quakes on the identical day and attributed it to pure coincidence.
But others couldn’t quite imagine it.
“It’s this date. There’s something concerning the nineteenth,” said Ernesto Lanzetta, a business owner within the Cuauhtemoc borough of town. “The nineteenth is a day to be feared.”
1000’s of individuals were killed within the Sept. 19, 1985 earthquake and greater than 350 died within the Sept. 19, 2017 quake.
Many Mexicans reacted to the most recent quake by posting an array of memes online venting their anxiety and finding humor within the natural disaster.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also noted material damage near the epicenter. Images posted on social media showed buildings badly damaged.
Mexican authorities said the seismic alert had sounded nearly two minutes before the quake struck, giving residents time to evacuate.
Still, some people within the capital struggled to understand it was an actual quake as the federal government had already sounded the alarm earlier within the day as a practice exercise commemorating the past earthquakes on the identical day.
In Coalcoman, Michoacan, not removed from the epicenter, pictures showed shingles knocked off homes and constructing partitions cracked by the force of the quake. In a single store, merchandise was scattered across the ground.
Power was knocked out in parts of the fashionable Roma neighborhood in Mexico City, some 400 km (250 miles) from the epicenter. The national power utility said outages hit 1.2 million users.
Roma residents stood on the streets cradling pets, while tourists visiting a neighborhood market with a guide were visibly confused and upset. Traffic lights stopped working, and other people clutched their phones, sending text messages or waiting for calls to get through.
Clara Ferri, who owns an Italian bookshop in Roma, said she told a customer to get out as soon as she heard the windows rattle, her senses attuned to the sounds of incipient earthquakes after 16 years in the placement.
“It was just like the dentist’s drill for me,” she said.
The rumbling grew in intensity, and as Ferri gathered with neighbors at an intersection, she looked as much as see the eight-story constructing that houses her shop sway backward and forward.
When she returned, shelves had toppled like dominos, sending over 1,000 books into heaps on the ground.
Officials roped off the sidewalk, which was suffering from masonry that appeared to have fallen off the constructing. Residents trickled out with pets and suitcases, preparing to spend the night elsewhere, and a lady fastidiously escorted her 89-year-old uncle in his blue-and-white striped pajamas.