Mexico City residents flee into streets after 6.5 quake [updated]
REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- A strong earthquake shook Mexico City and much of central Mexico on Saturday evening, sending frightened residents into the streets and knocking out power in numerous neighborhoods.
Although there were no immediate reports of major damage from the magnitude 6.5 temblor, wire reports said three people had been killed outside Mexico City.
In Mexico City, buildings shook and creaked for nearly a minute. In one densely populated neighborhood near the city’s center, residents clutched one another after pouring into the streets.
Manuel Mondragon, the public safety chief for Mexico City, said damage was minimal, with no harm to the capital’s water and gas systems.
Cellphone service went out in some areas and at least 30 neighborhoods were without electricity, local news reports said. But overall, the city returned to its busy rhythms quickly. Subways, city buses and Benito Juarez International Airport were all reported operating normally, officials said via Twitter.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said helicopters were flying over the city in search of damage. He said efforts were underway to restore electricity to affected neighborhoods.
The quake was centered in a rural part of the southern state of Guerrero.
Mexico City, which sits in an earthquake-prone area, suffered a catastrophic temblor in 1985 and has since taken steps to reinforce buildings.
-- Ken Ellingwood