Moderate earthquake shakes skyscrapers in Mexico City, some damage reportedFebruary 9th, 2010 - 1:15 pm ICT by BNO News
MEXICO CITY (BNO NEWS) — A moderate earthquake swayed skyscrapers in Mexico City and rocked buildings in the state of Oaxaca on Monday evening. There were reports of minor damage, but no casualties were reported.
A seismologist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake had a magnitude of 5.7 and was centered about 35 miles north of the small coastal town of Puerto Ángel. The Servicio Sismologico Nacional (National Seismological Center) of Mexico reported a 5.9-magnitude.
Earthquakes with a magnitude of 5.0 to 5.9 are described as “moderate”, and may cause major damage to poorly constructed buildings, or minor damage to well-designed buildings. Monday’s earthquake was located about 21.7 miles deep, making it a fairly shallow earthquake.
The coastal town of Puerto Ángel is located in the municipality of San Pedro Pochutla, several miles south of the city of Pochutla. The town is best known as a fishing village, although tourism has recently increased. It has a population of around 2,500.
“The entire building is shaking. It’s still shaking,” said Rodrigo Aguiar, Vice President of BNO News and the head of BNO News’ Mexico City bureau, which is located on the 14th floor of the Greco Building. Aguiar said the shaking, which started at 6.47 p.m. local time, lasted for about 30 seconds.
Only minor shaking was felt on the ground in Mexico City as taller buildings shake much more violently, even from small earthquakes, due to their structure.
There were no reports of damage from the metropolis, which has a population of more than 20 million. In Oaxaca, however, there were reports of scattered power and phone outages.
Mexico City has been hit by major earthquakes in the past, including a 8.1-magnitude earthquake on September 19, 1985. The powerful earthquake, which destroyed hundreds of buildings, claimed the lives of nearly 10,000 people. Tens of thousands of other people were injured in the quake.
Monday’s earthquake, because of its low magnitude, had no potential of a tsunami.
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