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Strong quake rattles central Mexico

world Updated: May 23, 2009 07:34 IST
Strong quake rattles central Mexico

An earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale rattled central Mexico on Friday, bu there were no reports of damage, the National Seismological Service (SSN) said.

The temblor hit at 14:24 pm and was felt with a certain intensity in Mexico City, though no casualties or significant damage have yet been reported.

The quake's epicentre was located in the state of Puebla, southeast of the Mexican capital the SSN said.

At an urgently convened press conference, Marcelo Ebrard, the mayor of the capital city, said that after a preliminary assessment of the situation, "no major damage" has been found in the city.

"All the city's main systems are undamaged and working normally," he said with reference to the metro system, water supply and public hospitals.

The quake was "deeper than we're used to," which explains why two sharp shifts were felt as the earth shook, SSN director Carlos Valdes told a Mexico City radio station.

The expert said he did not expect any aftershocks.

In the Mexican capital minutes after the temblor, hundreds of people hurried out of their offices and homes, while some schools were evacuated.

Cell phone networks stopped working for several minutes due to the massive call volume.

Minutes after the quake, people returned to their offices and civil defence teams began inspecting the city by land and by helicopter.