Mexico Reels From Quake, Swine Flu

"It feels like the Apocalypse"

A powerful earthquake has rocked central Mexico, swaying tall buildings and sending office workers down stairways into the streets.

The quake rattled nerves in a city already reeling from the recent outbreak of swine flu, which has killed about 150 Mexicans nationwide since first being reported on  April 13.

"I'm scared," said Sarai Luna Pajas, a 22-year-old social services worker standing outside her office building moments after it hit.

"We Mexicans are not used to living with so much fear, but all that is happening -- the economic crisis, the illnesses and now this -- it feels like the Apocalypse."

Co-worker Harold Gutierrez, 21, said the country was taking comfort from its religious faith, but he too was gripped by the sensation that the world might be coming to an end.

"If it, it is God's plan," he said, speaking over a green mask used to ward off swine flu.

The 5.6-magnitude quake was centered near Chilpancingo, about 130 miles southwest of Mexico City or 50 miles from the resort of Acapulco, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The USGS revised the quake's magnitude down from its preliminary estimate of 6.0, and said its depth was 30 miles A CNN producer in the Mexican capital said the ground shook for 30-40 seconds.

The Interior Ministry said there were no reports of damages anywhere in the country.

The Mexican government had already ordered schools closed and many businesses have been shut down in the wake of the epidemic.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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