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Strong tremor shakes buildings

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A strong earthquake struck a sparsely populated area in the mountains of western Mexico on Wednesday, and caused tall buildings to sway more than 200 miles away in Mexico City. People evacuated some buildings in the capital, but the city government said there were no victims or signs of major damage.

Authorities in Michoacan state, where the tremor was centered, also had no reports of damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported a preliminary reading of 7.0 magnitude for the quake, but later downgraded it to 6.5.

A quake of that magnitude is capable of producing severe damage in an urban area, but this one occurred about 41 miles below the surface and a tremor’s power to cause damage is often dissipated when it is so deep.

The USGS said the tremor was centered in Michoacan state 238 miles west-southwest of Mexico City and 88 miles northwest of the Pacific resort of Zihuantanejo.

Manuel Ortiz Rosete, the Michoacan state civil protection director, said no damage had been reported in major cities and coastal communities of the state.

Wednesday’s tremor was the latest in a series of strong shakes to hit Mexico City since a powerful 7.4-magnitude quake hit southern Mexico three weeks ago. But this was not an aftershock of that one, USGS geophysicist Dale Grant said.

“It’s a different earthquake. We are calling it an individual earthquake,” Grant said. “There’s a potential for aftershocks.”

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