Latin America & Caribbean

Mexico shaken by powerful earthquake

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Media captionAs Tim Allman reports, cracks in walls show how powerful the quake was

A powerful earthquake has hit Mexico City, shaking buildings for at least 30 seconds and causing widespread panic.

The magnitude-7.2 quake was registered at a depth of 24km (15 miles), according to the US Geological Survey.

Its epicentre was in the western state of Guerrero, near the seaside resort of Acapulco

There are no reports of casualties or significant damage, but frightened residents across the Mexican capital fled their homes as the tremor began.

The earthquake was felt in several southern and western Mexican states at 09:27 local time (14:27 GMT).

Windows were broken and trees fell in Chilpancingo, capital of Guerrero.

In Acapulco, where many tourists were enjoying the Easter holiday, there were scenes of panic.

"People were turning over chairs in their desperation to get out, grabbing children, trampling people,'' 59-year-old Enedina Ramirez Perez told the AP news agency.

Like many tourists, she was having breakfast when the quake struck.

Mexico lies on top of three continental plates and is regularly shaken by tremors.

In 1985, at least 10,000 people were killed in Mexico City by a magnitude-8.1 earthquake.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption The quake was more powerful than recent tremors, prompting Mexico City residents to rush into the streets
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Walls collapsed and trees fell in the Chilpancingo, near the quake's epicentre
Image copyright AFP
Image caption A hospital was also partially evacuated in the city of Puebla, outside the Mexican capital
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mexico City residents were reluctant to return to their homes after the early morning quake
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Correspondents say buildings in the capital are much better prepared to cope with earthquakes than in 1985, when the city centre was devastated by a magnitude- 8.1 tremor

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