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Latino Daily News

Saturday May 24, 2014

5.7 Earthquake Hits Southern Mexico

5.7 Earthquake Hits Southern Mexico

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A magnitude-5.7 earthquake shook southern Mexico early Saturday and also was felt in this capital, but no injuries or serious damage have been reported, officials said.

The temblor, which was centered off the coast of the southern state of Oaxaca, struck at 3:24 a.m. at a depth of 18 kilometers (11 miles), the National Seismology Service said.

The quake set off seismic alarms in Mexico City, but authorities said there were no reports of casualties or significant damage to property.

Emergency management officials also said there was no serious damage in regions closer to the quake’s epicenter.

Mexico, one of the countries with the highest levels of seismic activity in the world, sits on the North American tectonic plate and is surrounded by three other plates in the Pacific: the Rivera microplate, at the mouth of the Gulf of California; the Pacific plate; and the Cocos plate.

The Cocos tectonic plate stretches from Colima state south and has the potential to cause the most damage since it affects Mexico City, which is located in the center of the country, has a population of 20 million and was constructed over what was once Lake Texcoco.

The magnitude-8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico City on Sept. 19, 1985, was the most destructive to ever hit Mexico, killing some 10,000 people, injuring more than 40,000 others and leaving 80,000 people homeless.

The most recent powerful quake to hit Mexico was a magnitude-7.6 temblor that rocked Colima on Jan. 21, 2003.

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