Photo: Eathquake Hits Guerrero Mexico
A magnitude-6.5 earthquake killed three people and sent people into the streets of Mexico City, where power outages were reported, but no injuries.
The earthquake occurred around 7:48 p.m. on Saturday, the seismology service said.
Initial reports said the temblor had a magnitude of 6.8, but it was later downgraded to a 6.5.
The earthquake, which occurred at a depth of 59 kilometers (36 miles), had its epicenter in a sparsely populated area in Guerrero state about 166 kilometers (103 miles) southwest of Mexico City, the seismology service said in its initial report.
Two of the deaths were registered in Guerrero, the federal emergency management office said.
An 18-year-old man died in Iguala, a town located about 44 kilometers (27 miles) from the epicenter, when the roof of a taco restaurant collapsed, the federal emergency management office said.
Officials in Guerrero, however, said the victim was 11.
A 25-year-old man died on one of the highways leading into the Pacific resort city of Acapulco when he collided with some rocks that had been dislodged by the temblor, while his passenger was injured, federal emergency management officials said.
A man died in the northern part of the state when some rocks fell on his vehicle, the Guerrero emergency management office said.
About half a dozen people were injured across Guerrero, state officials said.
An Efe reporter saw cracks in highways and some roads on the verge of collapsing in the area where the epicenter occurred.
In Mezcala, a town outside the city of Zumpango, some houses sustained extensive damage.
Power and gas service were reported out in several sections of Mexico City, but no injuries were registered.
Wireless telephone networks were overloaded with traffic after the earthquake, media outlets in the capital reported.
Power outages occurred in 28 boroughs in the capital and residents of a building in the Doctores district had to be evacuated when the structure started swaying, but no damage was reported, Mexico City officials said.
Metro service was not affected and the international airport resumed operation after a brief interruption in service during the earthquake.
The earthquake was felt in Mexico City and Guerrero, Colima, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla and Mexico states, the federal emergency management office said.
“Although the epicenter of this earthquake was not on the coastline, it set off the seismic alert system in the state of Guerrero,” the federal emergency management office said.
Four aftershocks were registered up to 45 minutes after the initial quake, federal emergency management officials said.
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.
That last tectonic plate stretches from Colima state south and has the potential to cause the most damage since it affects Mexico City, which has a population of more than 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.