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7.6 quake hits southern Mexico near Acapulco

2:06 PM, Mar 20, 2012   |    comments
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ACAPULCO, Mexico -- An earthquake measuring 7.6 is struck today in southern Mexico near Acapulco, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The earthquake felt strong and long, but there was no sign of damage near downtown Oaxaca, says Spanish teacher Sandra Rivera at the Becari Language School in downtown Oaxaca, about 150 miles east of the epicenter of the quake.

Rivera tells USA TODAY's Oren Dorell by phone that she was seated when the quake hit and it lasted so long "I had time to stand up go out to the patio, go outside the building and we were still feeling the earthquake." When she and colleagues returned to the school building a second quake hit that was not as strong, she says.

She spoke while the six students at the school at the time and many other people in the neighborhood stood in Oaxaca's streets "because it seems to be safer than going in the houses," Rivera says. There was no visible damage to buildings and people are calm, but an earthquake alarm system continued to sound "so that's what makes us nervous."

An aftershock shakes Mexico City after 7.6-magnitude earthquake, the Associated Press reports.

The Miami Herald reported that Mexican President Felipe Calderon has posted a tweet saying that no heavy damage has been reported due to the quake.

The Associated Press reported that the strong, long earthquake in Guerrero state shook central southern Mexico, swaying buildings in Mexico City.

The jolt, six miles underground, sent frightened workers and residents into the streets.

Mexico's National Seismological Survey said the temblor had an epicenter southwest of Ometepec.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the center of the quake 115 miles east of Acapulco.

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