MEXICO CITY – Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto ordered on Friday the installation, by “protocol,” of the National Emergency Committee at the National Center for Disaster Prevention, after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that shook the center and south of the country.
Through Twitter, Peña Nieto indicated that because it is an earthquake of magnitude greater than 7, this body was formed, in charge of monitoring the emergency.
The Civil Protection System of Oaxaca, the state of the earthquake’s epicenter, indicated that until now there is only evidence of some material damage.
In Mexico City, the façade of a building in the central district of Condesa, an area severely affected by the earthquake of Sept. 19, and the collapse of a wall in Tacuba, in the west of the capital, have been reported.
The earthquake struck at 17:39 local time (2339 GMT) and its epicenter was located 11 kilometers south of Pinotepa Nacional, in the southern state of Oaxaca, and 57 minutes later another earthquake shook the country again, causing scenes of panic.
People remain in the streets for fear of new aftershocks, of which up until 18:30 local time (0030 GMT Saturday) 59 were recorded, while from the speakers of the seismic warning system – which did not sound on the second tremor – it was reported that there are no serious incidents, although the population has been asked to be alert.
But nerves have been shaken in the country, which just last September experienced the violence of two powerful earthquakes that left 370 people dead.
The mayor of the capital, Miguel Angel Mancera, warned that the municipalities of Xochimilco and Tlahuac have no electricity service, and noted that so far there are no reports of buildings falling, unlike on Sept. 19 of last year when 38 buildings collapsed.
Mancera indicated that the International Airport of Mexico City is operating normally, although he acknowledged that some windows have smashed there.
The governor of the southern state of Guerrero, Hector Astudillo, reported two fences and several fallen roofs, but without serious damage.
The secretary of the Interior, Alfonso Navarrete, confirmed that he will travel immediately to the area of the epicenter in Pinotepa Nacional to carry out an evaluation.