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7.4 Quake Hits Southern Mexico

At least 2 dead; tsunami alert issued
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 23, 2020 4:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – A powerful earthquake centered near the southern Mexico resort of Huatulco killed at least two people, swayed buildings in Mexico City, and sent thousands fleeing into the streets Tuesday. Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said one person was killed and another injured in a building collapse in Huatulco, Oaxaca, the AP reports. Otherwise he said reports were of minor damage such as broken windows and collapsed walls. Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat later said a second person was killed in an apparent house collapse in the tiny mountain village of San Juan Ozolotepec. The state-run oil company known as Pemex said the quake caused a fire at its refinery in the Pacific coast city of Salina Cruz, relatively near the epicenter. It said one worker was injured and the flames were quickly extinguished.

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López Obrador said there had been more than 140 aftershocks, most of them small. Seismic alarms sounded midmorning with enough warning for residents to exit buildings. Power was knocked out to some areas. The US Geologic Survey said the magnitude 7.4 quake hit at 10:29am along Mexico's southern Pacific coast at a depth of 16 miles. The epicenter was 7 miles south-southwest of Santa Maria Zapotitlan in Oaxaca state. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast a tsunami threat with waves three to 10 feet above tide levels along parts of the coasts of Mexico. Smaller waves were expected through Central America, Peru, and Ecuador.

(Read more Mexico stories.)

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