A powerful earthquake rocked Mexico Friday morning as worshipers prepared for the 2014 Good Friday holiday and Easter weekend. With an epicenter about 180 miles southwest of Mexico City, the quake, measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale, shook the Mexican capital for about 30 seconds.
The earthquake in Mexico City triggered frightening memories of a 1985 quake there that killed 10,000 people, but the government said that considerable safeguards have been put in place since then. No damage reports were yet in for the earthquake which struck at 9:27 am local time, which is Central Daylight Time, Friday.
Because Mexico City had emptied out somewhat for the 2014 Easter holiday, authorities expected any possible injuries to be kept low, if there were any. Mexico City Mayor Angel Mancerra said that “protocols” were immediately followed and helicopters were flying over the city’s many impoverished neighborhoods which are likely to take the brunt of any earthquake.
Though the quake was centered near the resort city of Acapulco on Mexico’s west coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, because Mexico City is built on a base of soft sediment, even distant quakes cause shaking in the country’s sprawling capital. The deadly 1985 quake was centered 250 miles away.
There were reports of buildings swaying and people feeling into the streets during the Friday morning quake in Mexico City.
Twitter reports of 15 seconds shaking in Guadalajara… and possibly felt as far away as state of Veracruz on Gulf coast. #earthquake
— Nick Wiltgen (@WxNick) April 18, 2014
The reported Richter scale reading of 7.5 makes the Mexico earthquake one of the more powerful earthquakes to strike the United States’ closest southern neighbor in years. A 7.5 earthquake last struck Mexico in 1999, though there have been several quakes measuring 7.4 since then.
Final Richter scale readings are not yet in for the latest major Mexico earthquake. Some reports put the initial reading at 7.0, but it was not clear if the measurement was later revised upward. In all likelihood, geologists are still sorting out the information as of Friday morning.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that it did not expect a tsunami to result from the latest Mexico Earthquake.