A strong earthquake shook the southern Pacific coast of Mexico as well as the capital and several inland states Thursday, sending frightened people into unseasonal torrential rains that were also bearing down on the coast.

The 6.4-magnitude quake in southern Guerrero state was centred about 15 km north of Tecpan de Galeana, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, and was felt about 277 km miles away in Mexico City, where office workers streamed into the streets away from high-rise buildings.

There were no reports of injuries. A 30-meter (yard) section of elevated road collapsed in Tecpan, near the epicenter, closing the federal highway between the resort cities of Acapulco and Zihuatanejo. The road had been damaged in a magnitude-7.2 quake that hit April 18 in roughly the same area and was under repair when it collapsed. The detour road was under water from the rains Thursday.

Tecpan shook ferociously, causing a “wave of panic” and some roofs to cave in, Mayor Crisoforo Otero Heredia said. As the day went on, civil protection workers started hearing of collapsed houses, some in remote areas in the municipality of Tecpan such as the town of La Cienega.

A wall collapsed in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state, but civil protection crews in Acapulco found no problems except scared citizens who were forced to take refuge in the heavy rain that was hitting the region.

In Mexico City, elegantly dressed businesswoman Carmen Lopez was leaving a downtown office building when the ground began to shake. She dashed across the street to a leafy median as light poles swayed violently above her.

“That was just too scary,” Lopez said as she quickly started dialing her cellphone to alert friends and family.

Behind her, thousands of people poured from neighboring office buildings, following pre-planned evacuation routes to areas considered safe in case of falling glass.

The quake occurred at a depth of 23 km and its epicentre was about 66 km from that of the April 18 quake that shook central and southern Mexico.

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