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Wednesday, June 16, 1999 Published at 23:24 GMT 00:24 UK


World: Americas

Mexico quake toll rises

Soldiers clean up debris left by the earthquake

The death toll from the Mexico earthquake has risen to at least 16, with another 200 injured.


[ image: A woman weeps at the funeral of her friend]
A woman weeps at the funeral of her friend
The quake, which lasted about two minutes, measured 6.7 on the Richter scale, according to the National Seismological Service.

President Ernesto Zedillo declared a state of emergency, and broke off a trip to the Caribbean to inspect damage in the city of Puebla, near the epicentre of the earthquake, around 200km (125 miles) south of Mexico City.

The quake toppled at least two buildings in Puebla, a city of 1.2 million people, and brought down a church tower.

Panic in capital

Two people were reported to have died in Mexico City from heart attacks, apparently triggered by fear.


Jose Baig in Mexico City: "The quake raised fears left by the 1985 earthquake."
The quake recalled memories of the massive earthquake which devastated the city in 1985, killing at least 4,000 people.

There was relatively little structural damage, but tall buildings swayed with the tremors, sending tens of thousands of people into the streets.


[ image: Many in Mexico City were treated for shock]
Many in Mexico City were treated for shock
Telephone service and power were disrupted in some areas of the city.

Four states - Puebla, Morelos, Oaxaca and Veracruz - suffered damage in the quake, which struck at about 2045GMT.

The epicentre was in the area of Huajapan de Leon, in Oaxaca, a town mainly inhabited by Mixteca Indians.


[ image:  ]
Police said several buildings in the region were affected, notably in the nearby town of Teposcolula, where several homes and parts of the municipal palace collapsed. Landslides also blocked traffic on several roads.

President Zedillo lamented the loss of life, but said the impact of the quake had been relatively light considering its intensity.





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