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Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexican Capital, Acapulco

MEXICO CITY — A powerful, magnitude-7.2 earthquake has shaken central and southern Mexico.

Photo credit: U.S. Geological Survey

This map shows the epicenter of the earthquake located in the Mexican state of Guerrero, southwest of Mexico City. The area in yellow indicates strong perceived shaking and light potential damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially calculated the quake's magnitude at 7.5, but later downgraded it to 7.2. It says the quake was centered northwest of the Pacific resort of Acapulco, where many Mexicans and foreign tourists are vacationing for the Easter holiday.

The quake was felt strongly in the resort city, as well as in Mexico's capital.

A woman who answered the phone at the civil protection office in Acapulco says officials are patrolling the city to check for damage and casualties.

There have been no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

The quake was centered 170 miles southwest of Mexico City, but the shaking was felt in the capital for at least 30 seconds. Buildings swayed as people fled high-rises and took to the streets.

Mexico City is vulnerable even to distant earthquakes because much of it sits atop the muddy sediments of drained lake beds that quiver as quake waves hit.

The magnitude-8.1 quake in 1985 that killed at least 6,000 people and destroyed many buildings in Mexico City was centered 250 miles away on the Pacific Coast.

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