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Nation/World

April 19, 2014

Magnitude-7.2 earthquake jolts Mexican capital

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) — A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook central and southern Mexico yesterday, sending panicked people into the streets. Some walls cracked and fell, but there were no reports of major damage or casualties.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake at about 9:30 a.m. (10:30 a.m. EDT; 1430 GMT) was centered on a long-dormant faultline northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

It was felt across at least a half-dozen states and Mexico’s capital, where it collapsed several walls and left large cracks in some facades. Debris covered sidewalks around the city.

Around the region, there were reports of isolated and minor damage, such as fallen fences, trees and broken windows. Chilpancingo, capital of the southern state of Guerrero, where the quake was centered, reported a power outage, but service was restored after 15 minutes.

In Acapulco, 59-year-old Enedina Ramirez Perez was having breakfast, enjoying the holiday with about 20 family members, when her hotel started to shake.

“People were turning over chairs in their desperation to get out, grabbing children, trampling people,” the Mexico City woman said. “The hotel security was excellent and started calming people down. They got everyone to leave quietly.”

The quake struck 170 miles southwest of Mexico City, where people fled high-rises and took to the streets, many still in their bathrobes and pajamas on their day off.

“I started to hear the walls creak and I said, ‘Let’s go,’” said Rodolfo Duarte, 32, who fled his third-floor apartment.

“This is really strong,” said Gabriel Alejandro Hernandez Chavez, 45, an apartment building guard in Mexico City. “And I’m accustomed to earthquakes.”

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said there were small power outages from fallen transformers but officials were working to restore the service.

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