Washington: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck off the coast of Oregon on Wednesday and was followed a minute later by a smaller quake off the coast of central California, the US Geological Survey said. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said the quakes were unlikely to trigger a tsunami.
A few minutes later, a second much stronger quake, registering 6.5, was felt near Michoacán, Mexico.
The Oregon quake was initially reported as a magnitude 6.2 and the California one as a 5.3. Both were later downgraded.
The earthquake that hit western Mexico shook buildings as far away as the capital and sent people rushing out of offices onto the streets, though there were no reports of major damage.
Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said on his Twitter account there were no initial signs of serious damage and that key services in the capital, including its subway system and the international airport, were operating normally.
"There was a nasty crunching sound in my bathroom and everything moved," said Adela Arceo, who was looking after two young children in the central Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City.
There were no initial reports of casualties.
The US Geological Survey said the 6.5 magnitude quake struck in the western state of Michoacan at a depth of 12.4 miles. The epicentre was 238 miles west-southwest of Mexico City. The USGS earlier estimated the strength of the quake at 7.0 magnitude and said it was deeper.
Emergency services in Michoacan and in the neighbouring state of Guerrero, which has been hit by a series of recent quakes, reported no major problems on Wednesday.
"You could feel it, but there's no major damage. There are no reports, no emergency calls," said Agustin Lule, a spokesman for fire services in Uruapan, a town in Michoacan near the epicenter of the quake.
Reporters in coastal areas of Guerrero and neighbouring Oaxaca state said there was no damage.
The Honolulu-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said it had not issued a tsunami warning, but staff oceanographer David Walsh noted the quake was close to water, big enough and potentially deep enough to cause one.
It was the third big earthquake to hit Mexico in less than a month. A 7.4 magnitude quake struck on March 20, damaging hundreds of buildings in the southwest. That was followed by dozens of aftershocks.
Earlier on Wednesday, an 8.7 magnitude earthquake struck off Indonesia, raising fears of a huge tsunami like the one that battered the Indian Ocean rim in 2004, but authorities said there were no reports suggesting a major threat.
(With Agencies’ inputs)
First Published: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 08:52