Major quake hits México, but there is little damage

A strong 7.4-magnitude earthquake hit near Acapulco on Mexico’s Pacific coast Tuesday, but President Felipe Calderón says there are no reports of major damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter of Tuesday’s quake was in Guerrero state in southwestern Mexico.

The earthquake caused buildings to sway in Mexico City and sent frightened residents into the streets of the capital. But Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said no serious damage was visible during a helicopter survey.

A top official at a skyscraper in Mexico City, Felipe Flores, said the structure was built to withstand earthquakes and came through Tuesday’s quake very well. The building, called the Torre Mayor, is the tallest structure in Mexico and one of the tallest in Latin America.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the inland earthquake would not generate a destructive widespread tsunami, but that local tsunami effects are possible.

In Washington, the White House said U.S. President Barack Obama’s 13-year-old daughter, Malia, was safe after the earthquake hit. She is vacationing in southwestern Mexico with friends.

The U.S. Geological Survey earlier estimated the quake’s magnitude at 7.6 before downgrading it to 7.4.

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