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Strong aftershock hits western Mexico, 2 killed

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A strong aftershock with a preliminary magnitude of 6.8 has struck western Mexico, killing at least two people in Mexico City, local officials say. It comes just days after two people were killed and dozens were injured when a powerful earthquake hit the same region.

The aftershock struck at 1:16 a.m. local time on Thursday and was centered about 39 kilometers southwest of Aguililla, a city in the state of Michoacán. Residents said the shaking was felt as far away as Mexico City.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said Thursday’s aftershock had a preliminary magnitude of 6.8, down from an earlier estimate of 7.0. It struck about 20 kilometers below the surface, making it a shallow earthquake.

Mexico’s seismological agency put the magnitude slightly higher, at 6.9. No tsunami alerts were issued.

“Based on all available data, there is no tsunami threat from this earthquake,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said in a bulletin for member states. “No action is required.”

The extent of the damage from Thursday’s aftershock was not immediately clear, but photos shared on social media showed a damaged building in the city of Uruapan. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

In Mexico City, a woman fell from the stairs and hit her head after the earthquake warning system was activated, killing her, according to local officials. The system is intended to warn people just seconds before an earthquake can be felt.

A second person, a man, died elsewhere in the city when he suffered a heart attack during the quake.

A powerful 7.6-magnitude earthquake hit the same region on Monday afternoon, causing damage and killing two people at two shopping malls in Manzanillo. Small tsunamis were also observed, most notably in Manzanillo, where several streets were flooded.

Monday’s earthquake came just an hour after a nationwide earthquake preparedness drill, which took place on the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that struck the coast of Michoacan, causing widespread damage and killing at least 10,000 people. It was also the anniversary of an earthquake in 2017 that killed 370 people.

Mexico sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin which is prone to large earthquakes.

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