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Strong earthquake hits southern Mexico, killing 1

June 30, 2010

A strong earthquake rattled southern Mexico early Wednesday, killing at least one man who was crushed beneath a rafter that fell from his roof.

The magnitude-6.2 quake was felt as far north as Mexico City, where people fled homes and hotels in their pajamas. City officials reported no injuries or significant damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered in a sparsely populated, mountainous area of Oaxaca near the southern Pacific coast.

"It felt strong, very strong," said Tomas Herrera Sanchez, a police officer on duty in the town of Santiago Pinotepa Nacional, the closest sizable town to the quake's center. "There are people who got scared and left their houses."

Armando Lugo Hernandez, 49, was killed when a beam fell from his roof in the town of San Andres Huaxpaltepec near the epicenter, said Carlos Alberto Ramos, director of Oaxaca state Civil Protection.

Ramos said officials were still trying to assess damages in the remote area, but did not believe it was extensive.

The USGS said the quake hit at 2:22 a.m. local time (0722 GMT, 3:22 a.m. EDT) and it was centered about 80 miles (125 kilometers) west-southwest of Oaxaca city, the state capital. It initially estimated the magnitude at 6.5.

The quake occurred at a depth of 12 miles (20 kilometers).

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