An earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, cutting electricity and phone service and sending startled residents into the streets from the capital to the Pacific resort city of Acapulco.
The magnitude-7.4 quake struck 12 miles below ground, about halfway between Acapulco and the colonial town of Oaxaca, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The quake collapsed 60 homes near the rural epicenter, according to the Associated Press, and even shook Oaxaca, where President Obama’s daughter Malia is vacationing with classmates.
Malia “is safe and was never in danger,” said Kristina Schake, spokeswoman for first lady Michelle Obama.
Many Mexico City residents took the seismic activity in stride, although some said it felt like the strongest quake in recent memory.
Starbucks employee Laura Huescas, 23, said people’s reaction made her nervous. “Everyone just jumped up and left the building,” she said.
The Interior Ministry said it had no reports of major damage in the capital. The quake caused electricity outages and spotty phone service and knocked a pedestrian bridge onto a small bus. Mexico City officials closed a busy metro line. The Benito Juárez International Airport temporarily suspended service .
Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said the damage didn’t appear to be widespread — a sharp contrast to 1985, when an earthquake killed 10,000 people and left an even greater number homeless.
Since then, officials in the Mexican capital have toughened building codes and made efforts to stamp out corruption that contributed to the substandard construction blamed for many of the deaths in the earthquake in 1985.
In downtown Oaxaca, Tuesday’s quake felt strong and long, but there was no sign of damage in the colonial city, said Spanish teacher Sandra Rivera at the Becari Language School, 150 miles east of the epicenter.
Honorato Hernandez, a receptionist at Real Bananas Hotel and Villas in Acapulco, said the quake panicked some hotel guests but caused no damage in the city. “People were scared; they panicked and went out to the beach,” he said. “But the whole city is OK.”