Strong Earthquake Strikes Southern Mexico, Sways Buildings in Capital - NBC Bay Area
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Strong Earthquake Strikes Southern Mexico, Sways Buildings in Capital

The U.S. Geological Survey says Friday's quake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.6

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    Strong Earthquake Strikes Southern Mexico, Sways Buildings in Capital
    USGS
    A USGS map depicts shaking from a magnitude-6.5 earthquake Feb. 1, 2019 in southern Mexico.

    A strong earthquake jolted southern Mexico on Friday, rattling nerves and swaying tall buildings hundreds of miles away in the capital, but there were no reports of serious damage, injuries or deaths.

    The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the quake had a magnitude of 6.6. It was centered about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the city of Tapachula in Chiapas state and struck at a depth of 40 miles (68 kilometers).

    Chiapas civil defense official Arturo Barrientos told The Associated Press that there were no reports of serious damage and authorities were monitoring the situation.

    Barrientos said cracks appeared in a wall at an elementary school in the state capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez, but the children were evacuated safely.

    "It was felt pretty strongly, but everything is normal. We went out into the street, and that was it," Enrique Vidal, a lawyer who lives in Tapachula said via text message. "Those with children in schools went to look for them since there are buildings that are still damaged from 2017."

    The same region was rocked in September 2017 by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that killed nearly 100 people and damaged thousands of buildings. A more damaging 7.1 quake in central Mexico later that month left more than 400 dead, including at least 228 in Mexico City.

    "Fortunately there is no loss of human lives nor injuries that require hospitalization," Luis Manuel Garcia, Chiapas' civil defense secretary, told Foro TV. "Only nervousness."

    Friday's quake was also felt in nearby Guatemala and farther away in El Salvador.

    In Guatemala, the Red Cross reported some mud and rockslides along roads, and a bridge in the city of Quetzaltenango had some minor damage.

    Along a central boulevard in Mexico City, which lies on lakebed soil that amplifies the effects of even faraway quakes, seismic alarms did not go off but some office workers briefly evacuated buildings.