JOSE ANTONIO RIVERA
ACAPULCO, Mexico (AP) -- A series of earthquakes rattled southern and central Mexico Sunday, forcing the evacuation of dozens of villages that sit on hillsides loosened by a deadly tropical storm last month.
More than a dozen quakes centered along the coast of Guerrero state began around 8:30 a.m. and continued for at least three hours, ranging in strength from barely perceptible to 5.2, according to Mexico's seismological institute. Authorities reported no deaths or significant damage. State spokesman Victor Torres Ruiz said authorities were evacuating between 100 and 200 hamlets, most of less than 150 people, where the heavy rains of Tropical Storm Manuel left unstable slopes on surrounding hills.
One of the strongest of Sunday's quakes set off seismic alarms in Mexico City and authorities warned people to stay away from elevators and windows. It had its epicenter near the hamlet of La Pintada, where dozens died when a massive mudslide hit the center of town on Sept. 16.
Mexico's National Seismology Institute said the first strong temblor struck at 9:27 a.m. (10:27 ET) and was centered less than 3 miles south of the coastal town of Coyuca de Benitez. It had a preliminary magnitude of 5.21.
The institute issued a preliminary magnitude of 4.96 after the second strong quake, which hit at 10:57 a.m. (11:57 ET) and was centered 27 miles south of the community of Atoyac de Alvarez, near La Pintada.
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