March 21 - Parts of Mexico are hit by a quake 7.4 magnitude quake but so far no major damage is reported. Paul Chapman reports.
The force of the quake that shook parts of Mexico brought people onto the streets in their thousands. Despite the power of the 7.4 magnitude quake there've been no reports of any deaths. A bus driver escaped with minor injuries when a bridge collapsed in Mexico city. Hundreds of homes in Mexico city, neighbouring Oaxaca, and near the epicentre in Guerrero state have been damaged. Tourists have been describing the drama. SOUNDBITE: UNIDENTIFIED CANADIAN TOURIST SAYING (English): "We were on the 20th floor and everything started shaking and the windows were shaking and I sat on the floor. It was very scary." SOUNDBITE: RICK WYATT, TOURIST FROM SEATTLE, SAYING (English): "We were coming out of the doors and all of a sudden people were running along and we joined them and when we got to the front entrance we could feel things going back and forth." Tom Heaton, director of California Institute of Technology's Earthquake Engineering Research Lab, says Mexico is no stranger to strong quakes. SOUNDBITE: DR TOM HEATON, DIRECTOR OF EARTHQUAKE ENGINEERING RESEARCH LAB, CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, SAYING (English): "In this case the earthquake is in the ocean plate that's being shoved beneath the continent and in those cases it's not too common to have extensive damage from an earthquake this size, especially in this part of the world. They've had a number of magnitude seven earthquakes so in a sense they're somewhat acclimated to it." There's been several aftershocks but Mexico's president says there are no reports of serious damage. The quake is one of the strongest to hit the country since 1985 when thousands were killed in Mexico City. Paul Chapman, Reuters