A prolonged 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Mexico on Friday left almost a million homes and businesses without power in the capital and the south, but the only deaths reported occurred when a military helicopter crashed after inspecting The consequences.
At least 50 homes were damaged in the southern state of Oaxaca, which, along with Mexico City, is still reeling from the earthquakes that caused widespread damage in September.
The epicenter was about 90 miles (145 km) from the surfing resort of the Pacific coast Puerto Escondido in the southern state of Oaxaca and had a depth of 15.3 miles (24.6 km), according to the United States Geological Survey.
At least two people were killed when a helicopter carrying the Interior Minister of Mexico and the governor of Oaxaca crashed while attempting to land after an earthquake damage tour, authorities said. The senior officials survived.
The strong and sustained shake on Friday gave way to 225 aftershocks, said the national seismology service, and caused widespread panic.
In Mexico City, the seismic alarm sounded 72 seconds before tremors were felt, said Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera, giving residents time to flee to the streets.
Patricia Gutiérrez, a 66-year-old English teacher, was taking a nap with her 11-month-old granddaughter, Julieta, when she heard the distinctive siren.
“He recognized the sound When I opened my eyes, I saw his eyes terrified, his eyes wide, like saucers.” She said nothing, “Gutierrez said about her granddaughter.
Gutiérrez managed to leave his apartment on the ground floor before the earthquake began. “I left the phone and everything except my shoes and the baby,” he said.
Authorities said no deaths directly related to the earthquake nationwide had been reported.
BRICKS AND RUBBLE
The Oaxacan city of Jamiltepec seemed to suffer the most impact in the southern region, with 50 damaged houses along with a church and a government building, the state civil protection agency said.
The patients were evacuated from one hospital there and from another in the nearby town of Putla Villa de Guerrero. On a local road, a fire ignited when two high-voltage electric cables collided with each other.
In the city of Pinotepa Nacional, near the epicenter of the earthquake, a photo obtained from Oaxaca’s civil protection agency showed a single-story building where part of the brick facade had collapsed on the street. A hospital was also damaged, and a collapsed structure blocked a main road.
About 100,000 people in Oaxaca had lost power, the state governor said.
National oil company Pemex said its facilities were in order, including its largest refinery, 240 miles (386 km) from the epicenter. A hotel operator in Puerto Escondido said that his property was not damaged.
The tremors felt as far away as Guatemala to the south.
The images in the media seemed to show bricks and fallen debris from the buildings and products that fell from the shelves of a supermarket.
In Mexico City, the tall buildings oscillated for more than a minute as the seismic alarms sounded, with the oldest structures in the elegant Condesa neighborhood colliding with each other, and some cracks appearing in the plaster and paint.
The Popocatepetl volcano south of the capital sent a column of ash one kilometer high to the sky, said Mexico’s disaster prevention agency.
Two young men standing next to a building that collapsed in an earthquake on September 19 still hugged each other minutes after the quake. People crowded the streets, a lady in pajamas.
Trees, overhead wires and cars swayed, and a fire truck ran down the street.
Guadalupe Martinez, a 64-year-old retiree, said she was still shaking from shock. But the earthquake was far from the tremors that hit Mexico in September, Martinez said.
“This time it was strong, but it did not jump up and down,” he said.