Cleanup begins in southern Mexico after major earthquake


Acapulco - Residents in Acapulco feel the full impact of the magnitude 7 disaster


Published: Wed 8 Sep 2021, 7:56 PM

Residents of Acapulco began cleaning up broken glass and chunks of plaster Wednesday as they took in the full impact of a magnitude 7 earthquake centred nearby that shook most of southern Mexico, killing one person.

Many people slept outside overnight as more than 150 aftershocks rattled the hills around the beachside destination.

The quake struck shortly before 9pm, sending panicked people into the streets in Acapulco as well as in Mexico City, where it swayed buildings nearly 320 kilometres from the epicentre.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred 17 kilometres northeast of Acapulco.

“Fortunately, there was not greater damage,” President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday. “So far one victim, a young man who was driving a motorcycle and lost his life” in nearby Coyuca de Benitez.

The temblor caused landslides, but major highways were open. The Acapulco airport suspended operations, but the company operating it said it planned to resume normal operations by midday.

Rumours of a possible tsunami caused fear in some low-lying neighbourhoods immediately after the earthquake, driving some to higher ground, but an alert was never issued and no change in the sea level was recorded.

In the tourist zone, fallen posts crushed cars in front of hotels. Guests milled about outside, jittery and waiting for the all-clear. Some stood in the median of the beachside boulevard with their roller suitcases.

Meanwhile, in the central Mexican state of Hidalgo, teams continued evaluating the damage from flooding that swamped downtown Tula, when the Tula River jumped its banks.

At least 16 people died at the local Social Security Institute hospital. Lopez Obrador raised the death toll from the flooding there to 17 Wednesday, but it wasn’t immediately clear where the other flood death occurred.

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