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No casualties reported after earthquake: Mexico president

(Xinhua)

08:51, March 21, 2012

MEXICO CITY, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Mexican President Felipe Calderon said Tuesday in his Twitter account that there have been no personnel casualties reported after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake (Mexico's Seismologic Service) jolted the country's Pacific coast at noon.

Some one hour after the quake hit at 12:02 local time (1802 GMT) , Calderon said neither casualties nor severe damages have been reported, adding that electricity lines and health services were currently working.

"It has been a strong alarm, but so far, we haven't had any victims or large damages," said Calderon.

Calderon said he has contacted Mexico City's Mayor Marcelo Ebrard and Guerrero State Governor Angel Aguirre to coordinate inspection efforts.

Ebrard told him that there were no serious damages reported in the capital, Calderon said.

This has been one of the "strongest" earthquakes felt in the last years, said Calderon, adding that the electric power system is fully working although some failures were reported.

The president also said hospitals from the public health system were "working normally, with some broken windows, great alarm and panic," but no serious damages were reported.

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard twitted that no serious damages were visible in Mexico city during a helicopter survey, although some windows broke at the city's international airport and the monorail between two terminals was suspended temporarily.

Guerrero state governor Angel Aguirre told Milenio television two hours after the quake that more than 500 homes were damaged or destroyed in southern Mexico.

"We don't have human losses in the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca," Aguirre said, noting they were inspecting schools and public buildings near Ometepec, the town closest to the epicenter.

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that no tsunami has been reported due to the earthquake as it had an inland epicenter, although it warned of possible local effects.

Telephone and electricity lines failed in some parts of the Mexican capital. Although, according to local radio reports, there were no large structural damages.

Tuesday's quake had an inland epicenter near the country's Pacific coast, causing panic among the population, especially in Mexico City. It was one of the strongest quakes that struck Mexico City since 1985, when an 8.1 quake left over 10,000 dead and the capital in ruins.

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