April 28, 2009

Earthquake Shakes Mexico City

A 5.6-magnitude earthquake shook Mexico City Monday afternoon as residents were already on alert due to the possibility of a deadly swine flu epidemic.

The quake hit central Mexico just before noon about 42 miles east-northeast of Acapulco and 155 miles from the capital city.

The US Geological Survey said the quake, which was first reported as a strong 6.0 magnitude, had a depth of 30 miles.

"I'm scared," Sarai Luna Pajas, a 22-year-old social services worker, told the Associated Press. "We Mexicans are not used to living with so much fear, but all that is happening "” the economic crisis, the illnesses and now this "” it feels like the Apocalypse."

"Certainly strong shaking could be perceived, but it wouldn't likely cause extensive damage," said USGS research geophysicist Jim Dewey, referring to the likelihood of damages caused by the quake.

"It was 25 miles deep, so that puts some distance between it and the surface of the ground."

Mexico City has a population of about 20 million people.

Mexico's Interior Ministry reported no damages as a result of the quake, but the tremor comes during a time when residents are already in fear of a deadly swine flu outbreak that has been suspected of killing some 149 of the nation's people.

The World Health Organization has raised the pandemic alert level for swine flu to phase-4, suggesting a significantly increased risk of global outbreak.


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