Mexico Miracle Quake – No Fatalities

A 7.4 magnitude quake that damaged nearly a thousand homes has had no reported deaths - breaking a trend in which thousands die in tremors.

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Gabe Kahn.,

Mexico Quake Damage, 2012
Mexico Quake Damage, 2012

An impressive 7.4 magnitude quake that rocked Mexico from its sprawling capital all the way to the southern coast damaged nearly 1,000 homes, but did not kill a single person.

As of Wednesday, no deaths from Tuesday's massive quake centered near the border between the southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, even after 10 aftershocks, have been reported.

Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said two people had been injured in a bus accident during the quake, while about 300,000 people in Mexico City were without water after the quake damaged two aqueducts.

Nine other people were injured in Oaxaca state, according to the federal government.

Seismologists and civil engineers told reporters where the earthquake hit, and how it hit, appear to have limited the damage. They also cited vastly improved construction in the capital following a massive and deadly quake in 1985.

In Guerrero, a region studden with resorts, officials say about 800 homes were damaged and 60 collapsed. No buildings were reported to have collapsed in Oaxaca.

Authorities said the absence of tall buildings in the mountainous rural area is one reason for the lack of casualties.

There have been 15 earthquakes of magnitude 7 or stronger since 1973 within 310 miles of Tuesday's quake epicenter. Weaker buildings collapse with each quake, leaving a cadre of stronger ones that can withstand the shaking.

The quake's epicenter was 200 miles south-southeast of Mexico City. Despite the distance, it was felt powerfully in the capital, which is built on the spongy soil of an ancient lakebed that magnifies seismic impacts.

Mexico City was badly damaged in 1985 when a magnitude-8.0 earthquake killed at least 10,000 people. The 1985 quake destroyed 400 buildings and damaged thousands more.