Strong earthquake strikes Mexico; 1.6M without power

0
21

Sept. 8 (UPI) — A 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck off the southwest coast of Mexico on Tuesday night, knocking out power to more than half a million people hundreds of miles away in Mexico City.

The country’s seismological agency said the temblor hit at 8:47 p.m. local time nearly 7 miles off the coast of Acapulco. The U.S. Geological Survey, which calculated the earthquake as a magnitude 7 temblor, said “significant casualties & damages are likely & impacts are potentially widespread.”

As of late Tuesday, the Mexican seismic agency had counted at least 92 aftershocks following the initial earthquake, including the largest being calculated as magnitude 5.2.

The shock caused loudspeakers to blare seismic alerts throughout Mexico City, located about 236 miles north of Acapulco, as images and photos published online show a skylight periodically lit up as if by lighting due to arching electricity.

The Federal Electricity Commission said 1.6 million people in Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Guerrero, Morelos and Oaxaca were without power, accounting for 13% of their combined populations.

Advertisement

In Mexico City alone, 762,872 people were without power, with service having been returned to some 102,000 people by early Wednesday, the Secretariat for Comprehensive Risk Management said in a statement.

The Federal Electricity Commission added that employees were working to restore power as well as patrolling infrastructure to identify if any damages had been incurred.

Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City, confirmed via Twitter that several neighborhoods were without electricity.

There have so far been no reported injuries or deaths.

“Only some people with nervous breakdowns,” she said.

In a video message, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said there has been no signifiant damage to buildings or infrastructure reported as a result of the shock.

“Fortunately, we don’t have any information so far about loss of human lives, that is what I can inform you,” he said.

The United States had issued a tsunami warning, but the threat passed.

Mexican Officials said there was no threat for tsunami for Guerrero, home to Acapulco, nor for Oaxaca “since waves with a height of less than one meter are expected in the beach area” but added that “extreme precautionary measures are recommended.”

Advertisement

Earthquakes are not uncommon in Mexico. Last June, a 7.5-magnitude temblor hit off the southwest coastal city of La Crucetia in Oaxaca state. In 2017, hundreds of people died when a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City.