Huge earthquake hits Mexico on ‘damned’ anniversary, at least one dead

Huge earthquake hits Mexico on 'damned' anniversary, at least one dead
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MEXICO CITY, September 19 (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake struck western Mexico on Monday, the anniversary of two devastating tremors, killing at least one person, damaging buildings, blacking out electricity and forcing Mexico City residents to come outside for safety.

One person died when the roof of a store collapsed in the Pacific port of Manzanillo, the government said. Authorities also reported damage to several hospitals near the epicenter in the western state of Michoacan, a sparsely populated area of ​​Mexico. The government said one person was injured as a result of falling windows in one of the hospitals.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the 7.6-magnitude earthquake occurred shortly after 1 p.m. (1800 GMT) near the west coast and near the border with the state of Colima, where Manzanillo is located, and Michoacan.

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The quake was relatively shallow, only 15 km (9 miles) deep, which would amplify its impact.

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The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning for parts of Mexico’s coast, saying waves reaching 1 to 3 meters (3 to 9 feet) above tide are possible.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said there were no immediate reports of major damage to the capital after the tremors that rocked Mexico on the same day as the devastating earthquakes that rocked the country in 1985 and 2017.

Isa Montes, a 34-year-old graphic designer in the Roman neighborhood in the city’s center, said the timing of the earthquake was when helicopters flew overhead, surveying the city.

The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), one of the country’s most prestigious higher education centers, said that the three major earthquakes that occurred on the same day had no scientific explanation and attributed it to pure coincidence.

But the others couldn’t quite believe it.

“Today is this date. There’s something about the 19th,” said Ernesto Lanzetta, a business owner in the city’s Cuauhtemoc district. “19 is a day to fear.”

Thousands of people were killed in September. More than 350 people lost their lives in the earthquake of September 19, 1985. earthquake of 19, 2017.

Many Mexicans responded by posting a series of memes expressing their surprise at the recent earthquake. Read more

Before first announcing the death in Manzanillo, President Andres Manuel Lopez said there was property damage near the Obrador epicenter. In the images published on social media, it was seen that the buildings were severely damaged.

Mexican officials said the seismic alarm went off about two minutes before the quake, giving residents time to evacuate their homes.

Still, some people in the capital struggled to grasp that it was a real earthquake, as the government sounded the alarm earlier in the day as an exercise to commemorate past earthquakes.


Photographs in Coalcoman, Michoacan, not far from the epicenter, show shingles of houses and building walls being destroyed by the force of the earthquake. In one store, goods were scattered on the floor.

About 400 km (250 miles) from the epicenter, some parts of the Roma in Mexico City were without power. The national electricity utility said the outages reached 1.2 million users.

Tourists visiting a local market with a guide were visibly confused and upset as Roma residents hugged their pets in the streets. Traffic lights stopped working and people hugged their phones, sent text messages or waited for calls to go through.

Clara Ferri, an Italian bookstore in Rome, said she told a client to get out as soon as she heard the windows rattling, and her senses adjusted to the sounds of earthquakes that had just started 16 years later in the place.

“For me it was like a dental drill,” he said.

The roar intensified, and as Ferri gathered at an intersection with his neighbors, he looked up to see the eight-story building that housed his shop swaying from side to side.

When he returned, the shelves were toppled like dominoes, and more than 1,000 books were piled on the floor.

Authorities looked forward to the sidewalk filled with walls that looked like they had fallen from the building. Prepared to spend the night elsewhere, residents went out with pets and luggage, and a woman in her blue-and-white striped pajamas carefully accompanied her 89-year-old uncle.

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Additional reporting by Isabel Woodford, Stefanie Eschenbacher, Anthony Esposito, Raul Cortes and the Mexico City Newsroom; Written by Dave Graham; Editing by Stephen Eisenhammer, Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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