A powerful magnitude-7.2 earthquake shook south and central Mexico Friday, causing people to flee buildings and office towers in the country’s capital, where residents were still jittery after a deadly quake five months ago.
In Mexico City, tall buildings swayed for more than a minute as seismic alarms sounded throughout the city, and tremors were felt as far away as Guatemala to the south.
Television images showed thousands of people in the streets in the city center, where crowds had gathered to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
Crowds of people gathered on Mexico City’s central Reforma Avenue in Mexico City as well as on streets in Oaxaca state’s capital, nearer the quake’s epicenter.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the National Civil Protection system protocols have been activated.
The Mexico City Government wrote on Twitter, “Before returning to your homes, it is important to check if there are any damages, turn off gas lines and disconnect energy sources.”
No preliminary reports of deaths.
The quake was 15 miles deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The National Seismological Service said 59 aftershocks had been detected before 6:30 p.m. local time.
Over 300 people, including schoolchildren, died from a powerful earthquake in central Mexico last September.