MEXICO CITY – A magnitude-5.3 earthquake triggered the Seismic Warning System in Mexico City on Wednesday, but there are no reports of injuries or damage, officials said.
The temblor occurred 30 kilometers (about 19 miles) southwest of Arcelia, a city in the southern state of Guerrero, the National Seismology Service said.
“As of now, state civil defense units where the earthquake was felt a few minutes ago have not reported effects, we continue monitoring” the situation, national emergency management office director Luis Felipe Puente said in a Twitter post.
Seismic Warning System sirens went off, causing many people to run into the streets in Mexico City.
In 2017, 471 people were killed by earthquakes that rocked Mexico on Sept. 7, Sept. 19 and Sept. 23, marking the worst natural disaster in the country in more than 30 years.
The Sept. 19 temblor occurred on the 32nd anniversary of the magnitude-8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico City, killing some 10,000 people, injuring more than 40,000 others and leaving 80,000 people homeless.
In 2015, Mexico City’s government installed a warning system, which uses 8,200 loudspeakers located across the capital’s 16 boroughs, to alert residents to an earthquake.
The Seismic Warning System gives Mexico City residents a 50-second alert to prevent a repetition of the tragedy that occurred in 1985.
The warning is generated by sensors along the Pacific coast, located about 400 kilometers (some 250 miles) from the capital, giving residents time to get out of buildings that could collapse in a temblor.
Mexico, one of the countries with the highest levels of seismic activity in the world, sits on the North American tectonic plate and is surrounded by three other plates in the Pacific: the Rivera microplate, at the mouth of the Gulf of California; the Pacific plate; and the Cocos plate.
The Cocos tectonic plate stretches from Colima state south and has the potential to cause the most damage since it affects Mexico City, which has a population of 20 million and was constructed over what was once Lake Texcoco.