msnbc.com news services
updated 8/11/2006 8:29:39 PM ET 2006-08-12T00:29:39

A moderate earthquake rocked Mexico City on Friday, causing skyscrapers to sway and frightening residents, but emergency officials said no major damage or injuries were reported.

The U.S. Geological Service estimated the earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 and struck in Michoacan, 125 miles southwest of the capital. It was centered four miles northwest of the town of Huetamo and 59 miles below ground.

"For the moment, there are no reports of emergencies. Only panic attacks. It's minimal. No buildings fell," said a spokesman for Mexico City's emergency services.

An official in Michoacan state in central-western Mexico, where the quake measuring magnitude 5.9 was centered, also reported no major damage.

Electricity and telephone service did not appear to be interrupted.

Some buildings announced brief evacuations, and hundreds ran into the streets.

“I was in a small office, and the shelves were moving ... and the walls were vibrating,” said Carlos Avila, 25, an administrative employee at the federal Public Safety Department.

Sanjeev Patny, a 43-year-old American Express employee, walked down 10 flights of stairs and was waiting for building officials to tell him he could return to work.

“I felt the tremors, and I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

The quake was too small and based too far inland to cause a tsunami, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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