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6.5 magnitude earthquake strikes off Mexico coast

Published time: October 19, 2013 18:11
Edited time: October 19, 2013 19:17
Image from earthquake.usgs.gov

Image from earthquake.usgs.gov

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the western coast of Mexico in the Gulf of California between the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California Sur, the US Geological Survey reported.

The epicenter of the quake was 10 kilometers deep in the Sea of Cortez. Emergency services in Mexican Sonora and Sinaloa states said there were no immediate reports of casualties and it was not yet clear how the quake had affected Baja California Sur.

The quake was initially reported to have reached a magnitude of 6.8, but was later downgraded to 6.5 by USGS.

A tsunami warning has not been issued.

Over 138,300 people live within 100 kilometers from the epicenter of the earthquake, according to the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS). 

"We felt the quake pretty strongly, but we don't have any reports of damage," said Ana Carranza, a hotel worker in Loreto on the Baja California Peninsula.

Mexico is located atop three large tectonic plates and is one of the world's most seismically active regions.

On August 21, two strong 6.0 magnitude quakes hit central and southern Mexico, causing extensive damage. One of the earthquakes affected the capital of Mexico City and the resort city of Acapulco, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people. Numerous injuries were reported.

The country’s deadliest natural disaster occurred in September 1985 when an 8.1 magnitude earthquake killed more than 9,500 people in Mexico City.

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