Magnitude 7.0 Earthquake Strikes Southwest Mexico; Tsunami Alert Issued

A powerful earthquake struck southwestern Mexico near the beach resort of Acapulco on Tuesday night, jolting buildings and sending panicked people into the streets.

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7.0 and was centred 8 kilometers east-southeast of Pueblo Madero in Guerrero state, about 48 kilometres inland from the resort city. However, Mexico's seismological agency put the magnitude slightly higher, at 7.1.

People Fled their Buildings and Some Buildings Partially Collapsed

The earthquake was felt strongly in parts of Mexico City, sending residents and tourists spilling into the streets from homes and hotels, according to AFP.

Guerrero Governor Héctor Astudillo Flores said there were no immediate reports of major damage, but footage from Acapulco showed that a few buildings had partially collapsed, reported BNO News.

The quake shook the hillsides around Acapulco, downing trees and pitching large boulders onto the road, reported Reuters. Acapulco is roughly 230 miles (375 km) from Mexico City.

'It was Terrible. It Really Reminds Me of the 1985 Quake'

In the Roma Sur neighborhood of Mexico City, lights went off and scared residents rushed out, some wearing little more than pajamas, a Reuters witness said. Residents huddled together in the rain, holding young children or pets, too worried to return to their homes in the dark.

"It was terrible. It really reminds me of the 1985 quake every time something like this happens," said Yesmin Rizk, a 70-year-old Roma Sur resident.

Mexico earthquake
Powerful earthquake hits Mexico near Acapulco, shakes buildings hundreds of miles away Twitter/ The Washington Post

On September 19, 1985, an 8.1 magnitude quake in Mexico City killed more than 10,000 people and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

On the anniversary of that earthquake in 2017, a 7.1 quake left around 370 people dead, mainly in the capital.

No Serious Damage

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said while the quake had sent rocks tumbling down hillsides and damaged walls, it had not caused major damages in Acapulco's home state of Guerrero or the neighboring region of Oaxaca, or Mexico City, according to Reuters.

"Fortunately there hasn't been serious damage," he said.

"We have no information so far about the loss human lives."

Authorities said the population should be must be attentive to aftershocks. There had already been over 70 aftershocks recorded, according to Puerto Vallarta News.

Threat of a Tsunami Following the Quake

The US tsunami warning system reports there is a threat of a tsunami following the quake, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has also issued a tsunami alert for Mexico, affecting coastlines within 300 kilometers of the epicenter. Small tsunami waves have been observed, according to BNO News.