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Earthquake in Mexico; Epicenter in Veracruz State

A moderate earthquake in Mexico rattled a large part of central and southern Mexico as well as neighboring Guatemala Saturday afternoon. There were no reports of damage or casualties.

The tremor struck at 2:16 p.m. CDT in the interior portion of Mexico’s state of Veracruz, not far from the Oaxaca state border. The epicenter was about 300 miles east-southeast of Mexico City.

Mexico’s national seismological service, SSN, assigned it a magnitude of 5.6 after initially calling it a strong 6.2 jolt. The U.S. Geological Survey analyzed it as a 5.4-magnitude tremor.

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The hypocenter was about 90 miles below the earth’s surface, making this an intermediate-focus earthquake in Mexico. As a result of the depth, it was felt over a wider area than a shallower quake of the same magnitude would be expected to.

Twitter users as far north as Queretaro, Mexico, to the northwest of Mexico City, reported feeling the quake. The quake was also felt across a large part of Guatemala, including the capital, Guatemala City. Both cities are about 400 miles from the quake’s epicenter in opposite directions.

Seismic activity is common in this region of the Americas, where the large North American Plate abuts the Caribbean Plate, the Cocos Plate south of Mexico and Central America, and the Pacific Plate.