Mexico City Earthquake 2013: 5.5 Magnitude Quake Hits Capital, How Bad Is It? [VIDEO & REPORT]

March 26, 2013 3:03 PM EDT

The Mexico City earthquake on Tuesday caused no serious injuries. (Photo: Creative Commons)
The Mexico City earthquake on Tuesday caused no serious injuries. (Photo: Creative Commons)

An earthquake hit Mexico City on Tuesday, rocking buildings in the capital and causing thousands to run into the streets when the earthquake alarm sounded. The first Mexico City earthquake was followed by a second round of shaking just eight minutes later. The second quake had a magnitude of 5.1 and set off more alarms in the capital.

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The US Geological Survey recorded a 5.5 magnitude earthquake at 7:04 a.m. centered about 10 miles southwest of Pinotepa Nacional on the Pacific Coast and 227 miles south of Mexico City. Mexico Seismology Service had originally said the quake had a magnitude of 5.9.

The Mexico City earthquake demonstrates how the capital is sensitive to the effects of distant earthquakes due to its soft ground and distinctive geology. "Located atop three of the large tectonic plates, Mexico is one of the world's most seismologically active regions," states the USGS website.

Mayor Manuel Mancera said in a Twitter post that the Mexico City earthquake caused no immediate damage, and local news outlets had no reports of damage or injury in Pinotepa Nacional.

The Mexico City earthquake was preceded by last night's quake in neighboring Guatemala, the US Geological Survey reported. The 6.2-magnitude quake in Guatemala City was centered just 6 miles from Guatemala's capital, but was barely felt by the residents. This could be due to the depth of the quake, which the US Geological Survey recorded as 124 miles.

The lack of injuries caused by the earthquakes stands in welcome contrast to the destruction wrought by Guatemala's 7.4-magnitude earthquake in November 2012. The earthquake, centered off the coastal town of Champerico, was just 20 miles deep and left 42 people dead. It was the strongest earthquake in Guatemala since the 1976 quake that killed 23,000.

The most deadly Mexico City earthquake in recent history occurred in on September 19, 1985. The 8.1-magnitude Mexico City earthquake caused widespread damage and left over 10,000 people.



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