OAXACA | Mexico, which is already struggling with the health crisis of the COVID-19, was shaken on Tuesday by a massive earthquake that has left at least six dead, thrown out of their homes of hundreds of people frightened and triggered a tsunami warning from Peru to Hawaii.
This earthquake of magnitude 7.5 on the Richter scale, according to the seismological Service national of Mexico, occurred in the late morning. Its epicenter was located in the State of Oaxaca (south), where the six death, after the local authorities.
One of the victims is a worker of the refinery of the oil company Pemex in Salina Cruz, which has ceased its activity due to a fire.
“We had to rush out because the market was in danger of collapse. Already we selling almost nothing because of the pandemic, now if we close the market, it’s going to be even worse for us,” testified to AFP Juana Martinez, a florist of Oaxaca.
The earthquake, which did serious damage in the State of Oaxaca, has been felt even in the capital Mexico city. It was followed by hundreds of aftershocks.
When the sirens started to howl, hundreds of people took to the streets of Mexico city, some with masks on the face, others short, and not respecting the safety instructions in force during the crisis of the sars coronavirus, have found journalists from AFP.
Of office buildings and homes shook for long seconds. Fathers of families were held at arm’s length all their children and all departed in the most of the facades of the buildings for fear of collapse.
“We confirm that the magnitude was 7.5. Fortunately, we do not have any major damage,” said the president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in a video posted on social networks.
“There have been landslides, broken glass, awnings have fallen, the barriers also, but nothing serious. The strategic assets have not suffered any damage, in other words, the ports, the airports, the refineries, hydroelectric power plants. Everything is in good condition”, he said.
The mayor of Mexico city, Claudia Sheinbaum, said on Twitter that only minor damage had been reported in the megalopolis, which is home to 22 million people.
After the earthquake, the u.s. government has issued a tsunami warning for the mexican coast of the Pacific, central America, Ecuador, Peru, and Hawaii.
The alert said that waves up to three meters high could strike an area of 1 000 km around the epicenter.
Virus and earthquake
“As if we didn’t have enough to worry about with the virus, and now it’s a quake,” complained Maria Teresa Duran, 80 years old, in the central district of Del Valle. It deplores the death of one of his sons because of the COVID-19, and another is contaminated.
The phenomenon has surprised many of the inhabitants of the capital who, by reason of the pandemic, have been in the habit of working out at home.
“We were working in your pajamas after breakfast. Then we had to go out in this outfit in the street,” says Sonia Flores Cano, 29 years old.
The medical staff evacuated the hospitals of the capital, but those with the COVID-19 are remained in isolation.
Since the beginning of the epidemic, the sars coronavirus in Mexico has infected at least 191 410 people and resulted in 23 377 deaths, according to an official toll released on Tuesday.
The last strong earthquake there was in September 2017, with 370 deaths.
The 19 September 1985, an earthquake of magnitude of 8.1, one of the most destructive in the history of the country, had hit the mexican capital, killing more than 10 000 people and destroying hundreds of buildings.