7.2-magnitude quake strikes Mexico; no major damages yet

Earthquake Strikes Southern Mexico

Crowds of people gathered on Mexico City's central Reforma Avenue as well as on streets in Oaxaca state's capital, nearer the quake's epicenter.

In Mexico City, tall buildings swayed for more than a minute as seismic alarms sounded, with older structures in the chic Condesa neighborhood knocking into each other, and some cracks appearing in plaster and paintwork.

Video on social media showed buildings shaking in Mexico City.

In a major street near the capital's Chinatown, the traffic was temporarily halted as crowds of people are gathering outside, checking updates about the natural disaster through cellphones.

Standing in the middle of the street, her eyes glued to her fifth-floor apartment, Graciela Escalante, 72, could hardly speak.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the National Civil Protection system protocols have been activated.

Two deadly earthquakes struck Mexico in September.

"Shelters have already been opened for those affected", the state government said on Twitter.

The latest tremor comes less than six months after last year's devastating earthquakes in central and southern Mexico.

The Red Cross reported the facade from a building in the Condesa neighborhood, which was hit hard on September 19, collapsed. Similar scenes played out in Veracruz.

A 5.9-magnitude aftershock hit almost an hour later.

Tremors from the natural disaster were reportedly felt as far away as Guatemala.

Both the south of Mexico and the capital are still reeling from earthquakes that caused widespread damage and killed hundreds of people in September.

The U.S. Geological Survey originally put the magnitude of Friday's quake at 7.5 but later lowered it to 7.2.

Mexico sits at a spot where five tectonic plates come together, making it particularly vulnerable to earthquakes.



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