Strong earthquake strikes off Mexico’s Pacific coast, no damage

May 2nd, 2012 - 6:52 pm ICT by BNO News  

TAPACHULA, MEXICO (BNO NEWS) — A strong earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Mexico on late Tuesday afternoon, seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties. No tsunami warning was issued.

The 6.1-magnitude earthquake at 5:43 p.m. local time (2243 GMT) was centered about 114 kilometers (71 miles) southwest of Tapachula, a city in the Mexican state of Chiapas near the border with Guatemala. It struck about 40 kilometers (24 miles) deep, making it a shallow earthquake, according to the Mexican Seismological Service (SSN).

“At the time of this report there are no reports of damage. However, the earthquake was felt in the coastal region of Chiapas,” a spokesperson for the Mexican Seismological Service said. The agency said Tuesday’s tremor was the result of contact between the Cocos plate and the Caribbean plate.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS), which measured the strength of the earthquake at 6.0 on the Richter scale and at a depth of just 36.3 kilometers (22.6 miles), estimated that some 44,000 people close to the epicenter may have felt moderate shaking. Another 17.2 million people may have felt weak to light shaking.

Tuesday’s earthquake follows two earthquakes measuring 6.0 and 6.8 on the Richter scale which shook a desert region in the Mexican state of Baja California on April 12, causing no damage. It followed a 6.4-magnitude earthquake off the coast of Michoacán state a day earlier, causing tall buildings to sway as far away as Mexico City but also causing no damage or casualties.

Mexico sits on the so-called ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to frequent and large earthquakes. In late March, a powerful 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Mexico, killing at least two people and injuring 11 others.

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