Information Slow To Trickle In After 7.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Oaxaca, Mexico

A motorcyclist rides past security tape alerting of a damaged building after a quake in Oaxaca, Mexico on June 23, 2020. (Patricia Castellanos/AFP via Getty Images)

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At 10:29 a.m. local time on Tuesday, Southern Mexico was hit by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake, which originated along its western coast. At least one person was killed, according to government officials.

The state of Oaxaca bore the brunt of the shaking, though it was felt as far as 400 miles away in Mexico City, where earthquake early warning alarms blared, letting people know of the incoming seismic waves.

About 150 miles from the epicenter, in the city of Oaxaca, Omar Alonso, who runs the company oaxacking, said he didn't hear any warning while sitting in his living room at home.

When the shaking began, he and others hurried outside as the world around them moved uncontrollably.

"I'm on the second floor. So as soon as I felt it, I started going down stairs. From the moment I got up from my living room, went down my stairs, and went to my parents' house, it was still moving," said Alonso. "It just got stronger as it went on."

"It's very scary. It's like being on a ride, but not for the fun times."

He said that they lost power and cell service, so it was difficult to get news and connect with loved ones. Flooded with scary memories of the deadly 2017 earthquake, he rushed to check on his parents and then drove over to his grandparents' house to make sure they were OK.

Hours after the earthquake, the extent of the damage is still unclear.

News is slowly beginning to trickle out of the region, but information from La Crucecita, one of the cities closest to the epicenter, remains concerningly quiet.

The area has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19.

"It's just one thing after the next, after the next. I don't know how much our Oaxaqueños — well, even Mexicans, people — will be able to handle. It just keeps coming worse and worse," said Alonso.

California is home to a sizeable Oaxacan population, at least 150,000 people, the largest concentration outside of Mexico.