November 29, 2021

Earthquake in Mexico Shakes Acapulco, Mexico City – The New York Times

Damaged cars outside a hotel in Acapulco, Mexico, after an earthquake on Tuesday.
Credit…Francisco Robles/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

MEXICO CITY — A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near the port city of Acapulco late Tuesday, Mexico’s seismological agency said, shaking the capital, Mexico City, more than 230 miles away.

Power lines and buildings in the capital swayed as the ground moved for several seconds, and residents rushed outside to seek clear ground. There were no immediate reports of casualties, although some neighborhoods were left without power, according to the head of the Mexico City police.

The civil protection agency for Guerrero State, where Acapulco is, said the quake had struck eight miles southeast of the port and resort city and had led to power and phone outages. Rockfalls and landslides onto roads in the state were also reported, according to Reuters.

Videos and photos shared on social media showed cracked and damaged buildings, fallen lamp posts and streets strewn with broken glass in Acapulco.

The U.S. tsunami warning system issued a tsunami threat for Mexico. It said no U.S. states were at risk.

The United States Geological Survey said the quake, which it measured at 7.0, was very shallow, only 7.8 miles below the surface, which would have amplified the shaking effect.

However, authorities across Mexico said the immediate effects of the quake on infrastructure had been limited.

“There are no serious damages,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a video posted to Twitter, adding that he had spoken to state and local authorities in the affected areas. “Fortunately, we do not have any information about loss of life at this time.”

The mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, said that the capital’s subway system was back up and running after services were briefly shut down because of the quake. A newly installed cable car in the working-class neighborhood of Iztapalapa, which could be seen swaying violently during the quake in a videos shared online, was also back in service, Ms. Sheibaum said.

Mexico City is no stranger to earthquakes, with residents in the capital accustomed to regular, and occasionally deadly, seismic activity thanks to the country’s position near colliding sections of the earth’s crust.

Last year, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific coast of Mexico and shook the rural state of Oaxaca, killing at least six people and damaging some 500 homes. This followed a devastating quake in 2017, which toppled buildings and left hundreds dead, including children who were buried under a collapsed school.

Still, Mexican authorities have improved construction codes and warning systems significantly since the devastating earthquake in 1985 that killed as many as 10,000 in the Mexican capital, greatly reducing the risks of damage.

The capital’s earthquake warning system appeared to have functioned effectively, with speakers across the city issuing a loud siren and a spoken warning of the quake several seconds before it happened, prompting many to rush outside.

A man observed damage to buildings as a result of an earthquake in Acapulco, in Mexico, on Tuesday.
Credit…David Guzman/EPA, via Shutterstock

There were no immediate reports of significant damage or deaths after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Mexican resort town of Acapulco on Tuesday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said.

In a video shared on Twitter at about 11 p.m. Eastern time, Mr. López Obrador said there was no significant damage in the state of Guerrero, the quake’s epicenter, or in the neighboring states of Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla or the capital, Mexico City.

“Fortunately, there are no serious damages,” he said, adding that he had spoken to state and local authorities in the affected areas. “Fortunately, we do not have any information about loss of life at this time.”

Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary, said on Twitter there were no serious reports of damage or injuries in Mexico City as of 11 p.m. Eastern time.

“What a relief,” Mr. Ebrard said.

Emergency services in Guerrero said there were reports of power loss and issues with phone service across the state. Officials asked residents to stay calm and report any fires.

Claudia Sheinbaum, the mayor of Mexico City, said on Twitter that several neighborhoods in the city had lost power, but that public transportation was operating normally.

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the Mexican beach city of Acapulco and was felt as far away as the capital, shaking buildings and sending residents to the streets. Here are some pictures from the immediate aftermath of the quake.

The large quake that hit Mexico late Tuesday was strong, shallow and prompted a tsunami alert for the coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake was centered about 10 miles northeast of Acapulco and was only 12 miles deep, magnifying its strength and helping ensure it was felt as far away as Veracruz.

The U.S.G.S. said the quake was caused by a shallow thrust “on or near” the plate boundary between the oceanic Cocos plate and North America’s continental plate. The Cocos plate is gradually sinking beneath the North American plate.

Strong earthquakes on or near the coast are often felt in Mexico City because the capital was built on an ancient lake bed that has been filled in, magnifying a quake’s energy.