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Strong Earthquake Hits Near Acapulco, Mexico


Firefighters work to remove a concrete beam that fell from a bridge onto a public bus after an earthquake was felt in Mexico City, March 20, 2012. There were no passengers in the mini-bus and the driver suffered minor injuries, according to firefighters.

Firefighters work to remove a concrete beam that fell from a bridge onto a public bus after an earthquake was felt in Mexico City, March 20, 2012. There were no passengers in the mini-bus and the driver suffered minor injuries, according to firefighters.

A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake has hit near Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast, but President Felipe Calderon says there are no reports of major damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of Tuesday's quake was in Guerrero state in southwestern Mexico.

The earthquake caused buildings to sway in Mexico City and sent frightened residents into the streets of the capital. But Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said no serious damage was visible during a helicopter survey.

A top official at a skyscraper in Mexico City, Felipe Flores, told VOA the structure was built to withstand earthquakes and came through Tuesday's quake very well. The building, called the Torre Mayor, is the tallest structure in Mexico and one of the tallest in Latin America.

Office workers stand outside a building after an earthquake, in Mexico City. March 20, 2012.

Office workers stand outside a building after an earthquake, in Mexico City. March 20, 2012.

An American tourist was one of many people who saw chaos in the streets.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the inland earthquake would not generate a destructive widespread tsunami, but that local tsunami effects are possible.

In Washington, the White House said U.S. President Barack Obama's 13-year-old daughter, Malia, was safe after the earthquake hit. She is vacationing in southwestern Mexico with friends.

The U.S. Geological Survey earlier estimated the quake's magnitude at 7.6 before downgrading it to 7.4.

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