STORY: Power lines shook, parked cars moved, a dental office rattled… and residents of Mexico City rushed outdoors as a seismic alarm went off, warning of a powerful earthquake that struck the country’s west coast.
The 7.6 magnitude quake killed at least one person, officials said, damaged buildings and knocked out power in some areas closer to the epicenter.
And it all happened on September 19.
the same day that major quakes battered the country in 1985 and 2017.
Reuters video journalist Anna Portella said she had finished an earthquake drill held annually on this day, only to get a warning some 30 minutes later to evacuate for real.
She filmed the ordeal on her cell phone.
“And at that moment I started to feel dizzy. I thought ‘something’s going on.’ The feeling was familiar to me because it wasn’t the first time I felt this way when an earthquake takes place in Mexico City. So I rushed out the street, I heard the alarm, I saw all my neighbors gathered there."
"And everyone was shocked – a neighbor was repeating ‘what is the possibility that an earthquake happens just an hour after the drill.”
“I tell you I’m not going to sleep calm tonight.”
Accountant Ricardo Benitez says he was one of the first ones out of his building:
"A colleague quickly warned us. We were the first ones to evacuate, and I didn't feel it, other colleagues felt it. One who was on the toilet said the doors were shaking."
Many stood cradling pets on the streets of Mexico City, others clutched their phones – sending text messages or waiting for calls to go through.
One woman said she was thankful she was prepared.
Some areas in Mexico were still on high alert late Monday.
A tsunami warning was issued for parts of Mexico’s coast. with officials saying waves could reach 3 to 9 feet above the tide level.