MEXICO CITY - A powerful earthquake centered near the resort of Huatulco in southern Mexico swayed buildings Tuesday in Mexico City and sent thousands into the streets.
Seismic alarms sounded midmorning with enough warning for residents to exit buildings. Power was knocked out to some areas, but there were no immediately reports of damage or injuries.
Helicopters flew over downtown Mexico City and police patrols sounded their sirens.
The U.S. Geologic Survey said the magnitude 7.4 quake hit at 10:29 a.m. (11:29 a.m. Eastern) along Mexico’s southern Pacific coast at a depth of 16 miles (26 km). The epicenter was 7 miles (12 km) south-southwest of Santa Maria Zapotitlan in Oaxaca state
It was felt in Guatemala and throughout south and central Mexico.
In Huatulco, a laid-back beach destination known for surfing and small protected coves, the earthquake knocked goods off shelves and some rubble from buildings.
Mari González of the Princess Mayev hotel in Huatulco said staff and guests were able to evacuate the building before the quake, but that 45 minutes after the initial quake they were still outside as strong aftershocks continued.
“It was strong, very strong,” she said.
González said there was some visible broken glass and mirrors, but no major damage. The staff was waiting for the aftershocks to dissipate before fully evaluating the property.
Local news media reported damage to some buildings in the state capital, Oaxaca city. State officials said they were looking for damage.
The USGS estimated that some 2 million people felt strong or moderate shaking and another 49 million felt weak or light shaking.
This is a developing story and will be updated.