Earthquake strikes Mexico, buildings sway in Mexico City, Acapulco : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Earthquake strikes Mexico, buildings sway in Mexico City, Acapulco

The Associated Press 10/8/01 2:34 AM

ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- Frightened tourists ran into the streets of Acapulco, shouting "It's a bomb!" as a strong earthquake shook southern and central Mexico.

Sunday's magnitude 5.5 quake was centered 25 miles north of Acapulco, the U.S. Geological Survey said. It caused buildings to sway as far away as Mexico City, panicking residents who fled into the street. Damage appeared to be minor.

In Acapulco, tourists streamed from hotels and restaurants into the streets, fearing a terrorist attack.

Many have been nervous since hijackers crashed commercial jets into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11. A U.S.-led bombing that began Sunday against Afghanistan and the terrorist network of suspect Osama bin Laden also heightened fears.

Gustavo Pina Lagunes, a civil protection official for Guerrero state, where Acapulco is located, said many transformers and power lines fell during the earthquake and power was out in several working-class neighborhoods in Acapulco and surrounding towns.

He said several water mains ruptured as well and telephones were out in parts of the city. But there were no reports of damage to the coastal tourist section of Acapulco, he said.

Isabel Zaragoza, a receptionist at the Acapulco Tortuga hotel, said tourists ran out of their rooms when the seven-story building began to sway, but there appeared to be little damage, "aside from the scare."

Police helicopters flew over Mexico City to survey damage, but reported finding none. The city, built on a lakebed, often feels quakes that are much stronger hundreds of miles away.

On Sept. 19, 1985, the city was hit by an 8.1-magnitude quake that destroyed 400 buildings and killed more than 9,500 people.

-- Martin Thompson (, October 08, 2001

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