Sunday, November 22, 2015

Earthquake rocks southern Mexico

A magnitude-5.1 earthquake rocked the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca on Sunday, but no injuries or damage have been reported, officials said.

The earthquake occurred at 2:11 a.m. and its epicenter was located 21 kilometers (13 miles) north of the town of Miahuatlan, the National Seismology Service said in a statement posted on its Web site.

Several less powerful temblors, including one with a magnitude of 5, were registered before and after the main earthquake, the service said.

No injuries or damage have been reported in Istmo, Sierra Norte, Cuenca and Valles Centrales, the areas affected by the quake, Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cue said in a Twitter post.

"Stay calm and follow the safety protocols in your area or wherever you are," the governor said, adding that officials had implemented the public safety and monitoring protocols.

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 has a population of 20 million and was constructed over what was once Lake Texcoco.

In September, Mexico City's government activated the Seismic Warning System to mark the 30th anniversary of the temblor that devastated the capital.

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. EFE
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