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Friday, May 20, 2022

Magnitude 7.5 earthquake shakes southern Mexico, prompting tsunami alert

An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 was registered Tuesday in southern Mexico, reported the National Seismological Service, though so far authorities have not reported serious damage.

The US Pacific Tsunami warning center said hazardous waves as high as three meters could strike anywhere within 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) of the quake’s epicenter, from 1616 GMT.

Costa Rica’s National Tsunami Monitoring System (SINAMOT) said there is no risk for a tsunami in the country.

The earthquake’s epicenter was located in the town of Crucecita, in the southern state of Oaxaca, and the movement was noticeable in various parts of Mexico City, where hundreds of people took to the streets.

“We do not currently have any preliminary reported damage. Some institutions continue to evaluate their priority infrastructure,” said the national coordinator of Civil Protection, David León, in an interview with the Milenio network.

The governor of Oaxaca, Alejandro Murat, said security protocols were activated “to monitor the streets and keep the population protected.”

For her part, the mayor of the Mexican capital, Claudia Sheinbaum, said that her government has activated review protocols and that no affectations have been reported so far.

“We are already receiving protocol reports. So far no major incidents. We continue to report,” Sheinbaum said on Twitter.

The strong tremor was noticeable in various parts of Mexico City, where 8.8 million people live, and which was affected in 2017 by a 7.1 earthquake that left 360 people dead throughout the country.

In the capital, the seismic alert sounded before the tremor was noticeable, causing several people to evacuate their buildings — many of them using face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“How many problems with the virus, and now the tremors,” Maria Teresa Durán, 80, said tearfully in the central Del Valle neighborhood.

The phenomenon also surprised several residents of the capital who, due to the pandemic, are already used to working at home.

“We were working in pajamas, finishing breakfast and then we had to go out like this,” said Sonia Flores Cano, 29.

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