A magnitude 7.5 earthquake has struck near Mexico’s central Pacific coast, shaking buildings and setting off earthquake alarms in the capital on the anniversary of two earlier devastating tremors.
There were no immediate reports of significant damage from the quake which hit at 1.05pm local time, and struck near the town of La Placita de Morelos in the state of Michoacán at a depth of 15km.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Twitter that the secretary of the navy told him one person was killed in the port city of Manzanillo, Colima when a wall at a mall collapsed.
Michoacán authorities said there were no immediate reports of significant damage in that state beyond some cracks in buildings in the town of Coalcomán.
A mandatory evacuation order was issued in Mexico City, but the mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum, said that so far there had been no reports of damage in the capital.
Mexico’s national civil defense agency said that the navy’s tsunami center had not issued an alert because due to the epicenter’s location, no variation in sea levels was expected.
Earlier, however, the US Tsunami Warning System said there was risk of a tsunami near the coast of Michoacán.
It came exactly five years after a tremor killed 370 people and caused extensive damage across the center and south of the country. A previous quake on the same day in 1985 killed about 5,000 people.
“It’s this date, there’s something about the 19th,” said Ernesto Lanzetta, a business owner in the Cuauhtémoc borough of the capital. “The 19th is a day to be feared.”
Alarms for the new quake came less than an hour after a nationwide earthquake simulation marking the 1985 and 2017 quakes.
Power was knocked out in parts of the central Roma neighbourhood of the capital, hundreds of kilometers (miles) northeast of the epicenter. Local residents cradling pets stood on the street, while tourists visiting a local market with a local guide were visibly confused and upset.
Traffic lights stopped working, and people clutched their phones, sending text messages or waiting for calls to get through.
Humberto Garza stood outside a restaurant in Roma holding his three-year-old son. Like many milling about outside after the earthquake, Garza said that the earthquake alarm sounded so soon after the annual simulation that he was not sure it was real.
“I heard the alarm, but it sounded really far away,” he said.