Mexico quake kills at least five and causes panic


A powerful quake struck south-central Mexico Tuesday, and the death toll has risen to six since FreightWaves first reported on the tremor Tuesday afternoon. It hit at 11:29 a.m. ET at a depth of 16 miles and the epicenter was about 7 miles south-southwest of Santa Maria Zapotitlan, USGS says.

No major damage to building or infrastructure has been reported yet.

One person was killed, Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat told a news station.

An natural disaster measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale shook southern Mexico on Tuesday morning, setting off the alarm for authorities to warn residents of possible tsunami waves.

The death toll from an quake that struck Mexico has risen to 10 people, as locals began clearing the rubble.

A Reuters witness in the state's Pacific coast resort town of La Crucecita, which Mexican authorities said was the epicenter of the quake, saw anxious residents standing outside their homes hours after the tremor as they feared deadly aftershocks.

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The quake was felt in Guatemala and throughout south and central Mexico.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said tsunami waves of around 70 centimeters were observed in Salina Cruz in the state of Oaxaca and in nearby Acapulco.

The magnitude 7.4 quake even caused damage to buildings hundreds of miles away in Mexico City.

Six hours following the quake, a lot more than 400 aftershocks had been recorded across the region, the strongest at 4.6 magnitude.

A powerful quake has rocked the central and southern areas of Mexico. "Brothers and sisters, I am very close to you", he said at his weekly general audience. "It is not unexpected to see a magnitude 6 at this point and a number of smaller ones".

Because oceanic crust is relatively dense, when the Pacific Ocean floor encounters the lighter continental crust of the Mexican landmass, the ocean floor is subducted beneath the North American plate creating the deep Middle American trench along Mexico's southern coast.