5.7 earthquake hits Mexico, shakes buildings in capital

A view of Mexico city's skyline. © Carlos Jasso
A 5.7-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico's southwestern state of Oaxaca, the United States Geological Survey reported. Witnesses said they felt the ground shake as far away as Mexico City, the nation’s capital.

Evacuations were reported in Mexico City. However, there were no immediate reports of damage.

Emergency crews are monitoring the aftershocks, according to Luis Felipe Puente, the head of emergency services.

The depth of the quake was 10 km (6.2 miles) with the epicenter just 10 km north of Pinotepa de Don Luis, and 347 km (216 miles) away from Mexico City.

Eyewitnesses from Oaxaca State described feeling heavy shaking for a couple of minutes straight. “It felt horrible and very strong, and it felt like it lasted two or three minutes,” one of the receptionists at the Hotel Las Gaviotas de Pinotepa told Reuters.

The emergency services coordinator in Oaxaca, Felipe Reyna, confirmed that there were no immediate reports of damage. “Our representatives all over the state have reported to us that the preliminary situation is that there is no damage anywhere.”

Oaxaca Governor Gabino Cue said on Twitter that none of the state’s industrial installations were damaged.

Mexico City was built on the muddy sediments of drained lakes, which makes it extremely vulnerable to shock waves from earthquakes. In 1985, at least 6,000 people were killed in the capital city by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake that was 400 kilometers away on the Pacific Coast.