Filed Under:Claims, Catastrophe & Restoration

Oaxaca, Mexico earthquake rattles buildings, emotions

Costly destruction

Residents of the Roma neighborhood stand outside their homes after an earthquake was felt in Mexico City, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
Residents of the Roma neighborhood stand outside their homes after an earthquake was felt in Mexico City, Tuesday, March 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

A magnitude 7.4 earthquake struck Oaxaca, Mexico yesterday, destroying hundreds of homes. No fatalities have been reported, and catastrophe-modeler Eqecat says insured losses are expected to be under $100 million.

The earthquake was felt 200 miles away in the nation's capital, Mexico City, causing some damage, but not disrupting any services.

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Firefighters in Mexico City work to remove a cement beam that fell from a bridge onto a public bus after the earthquake was felt on March 20, 2012. There were no passengers in the mini-bus and the driver suffered minor injuries, according to firefighters.

Catastrophe-modeler AIR-Worldwide says buildings swayed for roughly 60 seconds in Mexico City and tourists and residents about 124 miles south of the epicenter in Acapulco say they felt the quake, but no major damage was reported in either location.

(AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

Debris is seen inside a home in Mexico City after a wall collapsed during the earthquake.

AIR says buildings in Mexico City today are well built, made of high-quality masonry materials.

(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)

Members of a family sleep outside their home in fear that aftershocks from Tuesday's magnitude-7.4 quake could cause their home to collapse in Pinotepe Nacional in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, near the border with Guerrero, on March 21, 2012.

Around 500 homes were reported damaged southwest of the town of Ometepec in the state of Guerrero.

(AP Photo/Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez)

Workers fix subway lines that were damaged after the earthquake in Mexico City.

Eqecat notes that yesterday’s earthquake was centered 248 miles southeast of the 1985 magnitude 8 Michoacan earthquake that affected Mexico City, which took close to 9,500 lives and injured 30,000 leaving more than 100,000 people homeless.

(AP Photo)

A woman comforts her children outside a school at the Roma neighborhood on Tuesday.  The strong, long earthquake sent frightened workers and residents into the streets.

While building codes in Mexico City are very comprehensive, AIR notes that in the rest of the country’s 2,400 municipalities, building codes are determined locally and vary widely in application and enforcement.

(AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

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