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 helicopter flights had detected no signs of damage.
Authorities in Michoacan state, where the tremor was centered, also had no immediate reports of damage.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported a preliminary reading of 7.0 magnitude for the quake, which it said was centered 238 miles (384 kilometers) west-southwest of Mexico City and 88 miles (143 kilometers) northwest of the Pacific resort of Zihuantanejo.
A quake of that magnitude is considered a major earthquake, but this one hit about 41 miles (65.6 kilometers) below the surface and a tremor's power to cause damage is often dissipated when it is so deep.
Manuael Ortiz Rosete, the Michoacan state civil protection director, said no damage had been reported major cities and coastal communities of the state.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
The amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland will arrive Monday to make Naval Base San Diego its new home port.
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