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Big quake hits Mexico, no major damage reported

(Chinadaily.com.cn)

08:18, March 21, 2012

A resident evades rubble after an earthquake, in Oaxaca March 20, 2012. (Photo/Agencies)

MEXICO CITY - A major earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, unleashing panic as it damaged scores of buildings and caused homes in the capital to bounce like "trampolines".

Office workers fled into the street when the 7.4-magnitude quake shook Mexico City for more than a minute. Cell phone lines went down, buildings were evacuated, traffic snarled and the stock exchange had to suspend trading early.

The governor of the southwestern state of Guerrero, Angel Aguirre, said he had received reports of 500 homes damaged, with some of them knocked down, but he gave no more details.

The tremor was one of the strongest since the devastating 8.1-magnitude earthquake of 1985, which killed thousands in Mexico City.

No deaths were reported on Tuesday and the quake caused no major disruptions to air travel or to oil installations, but it scared many residents.

Martha Suarez, an Argentine living in the capital's Roma neighborhood said she had never known anything like it.

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