24 June 2020 16:44
A powerful earthquake rattled Mexico Tuesday, killing at least six people, Reuters reported. Mexico's national seismological service said the quake had a magnitude of 7.5 while the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) put it at 7.4, according to The New York Times. It struck around 10:29 a.m. local time and was centered about 14 miles off the Pacific Coast of the southern state of Oaxaca. Around 200 houses near the epicenter were damaged, a local official told Reuters, 30 severely so. "We lost everything in one moment to nature," Vicente Romero, a stationary store owner whose home was significantly damaged, told Reuters.
"This is our life's work." One of the deaths occurred at state-run oil company Pemex, when a worker fell off a refinery structure, The Guardian reported. The earthquake also sparked a fire at a Pemex refinery in the Pacific city of Salina Cruz. It injured one worker before it was snuffed out. Another person died when a building collapsed in Huatulco, Oaxaca and a third when a house collapsed in the village of San Juan Ozolotepec. A fourth man was killed when a wall collapsed on him in the village of San Agustín Amatengo. Despite these individual tragedies, the overall damage was relatively minor. "Fortunately there was no major damage," Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said in a Twitter video reported by The New York Times. Obrador said there had been 147 aftershocks as of early Tuesday afternoon. "I hope and I wish with all my soul that there will be no more damaging aftershocks," he said. Some of the buildings that were damaged included hospitals, The Oaxacan Health Services said, as CNN reported. Two of the damaged hospitals had been treating coronavirus patients. "We are verifying [damages] because this hospital is also tending Covid cases on the Oaxacan coast," Oaxaca state Gov. Alejandro Murat said, as CNN reported. The earthquake was felt in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador and rattled buildings in Mexico City, more than 400 miles away.