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Earthquake hits Mexico City but causes no significant damage

August 21, 2013

Extreme weather events are relatively common in the region of Central America. Mudslides, earthquakes, tropical storms and hurricanes are some of the natural disasters that strike countries in this area of the globe, including Mexico, with some regularity. Most recently, a strong earthquake with a magnitude rating of 6.1 struck Mexico City during the early morning of Aug. 21, according to Reuters. Mexican government officials made it clear that no significant damage had occurred and no residents had been hurt or killed. Those in the area who were affected by the quake may wish to contact far-flung relatives using international calling cards and let them know they are unhurt.

The news source reported that data from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) identified the quake as having struck at an epicenter 11 miles northwest of Ayutla de los Libres, about 21.6 miles under the earth's surface. Miguel Angel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City, confirmed on his Twitter account shortly after the earthquake that no injuries or damage was being reported. Mancera posted the magnitude of the earthquake as 5.6 in a tweet - notably less than the USGS's final measurement or its initially stated 6.4 magnitude.

According to The Associated Press, while the quake and its aftershocks both set off Mexico City's earthquake alarms, people felt little other than the shaking of buildings throughout the area, some of which were evacuated. 

Mexico City has a history of catastrophic experience with earthquakes, the source states. In 1985, a quake with a magnitude of 8.1 struck the city, leveling a number of buildings and killing a total of 6,000 people. Even in relatively minor quakes, Mexico City's location and geological characteristics - sitting atop drained, soft muddy lake beds - put it particularly at risk.

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