A 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck southern Mexico on Tuesday, killing six people, sending hundreds fleeing from their homes and forcing the closure of a major state-owned oil refinery. Hundreds of aftershocks were reported in the hours following the initial tremor, which was felt in Mexico City, some 700 kilometers distant from the epicenter in Crucecita, in Oaxaca state.”We had to leave because there is a risk that the market will collapse. We are hardly selling anything because of the pandemic and now if the market is closed we will have a worse time,” said Juana Martinez, 60, a flower-seller in Oaxaca city. Quake adding to virus woes Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum also activated response protocols, adding that two people had been injured. Apart from some building facades falling, she said there had been “no major incidents” reported.The earthquake was felt in several parts of the capital of 8.8 million people which in 2017 was hit by a 7.1 magnitude quake that left 360 people dead throughout the country.That same year, 96 people died after an 8.1 magnitude quake struck the south of the country, with Oaxaca the worst affected state.The quake has hit at a time when Mexico is already reeling from the coronavirus pandemic.It has suffered more than 23,000 COVID-19 deaths — the second most in Latin America — and 191,410 cases.On Tuesday the country recorded its highest number of cases in a 24-hour period, with 6,288 new infections, according to the Ministry of Health.Medical staff were evacuated from some hospitals in the capital alongside patients, although those suffering from the coronavirus remained isolated inside the buildings, alongside their caretakers.”All those that are in an area with COVID patients remain inside, only those of us who weren’t there at the time” have come out, said Jaime Gomez, a nurse at a hospital caring for coronavirus patients.Many of the people that fled into the streets of the capital were not wearing face masks.”With all the virus problems and now the tremors, and I’ve just lost one child and the other is ill, so imagine [how I’m feeling],” a tearful Maria Teresa Duran, 80, told AFP. Mexican Oil said its refinery in Salina Cruz in Oaxaca had been shut down as a precaution after a fire broke out at the plant “that was immediately stifled.”One of the dead from the earthquake was a worker at the refinery, who was killed after falling off a high structure. Other refineries in the state are operating as normal, Mexican Oil said.Rescuers were battling to reach a remote area of the rugged state amid reports that 15 workers had become trapped while constructing a highway.The quake also caused slight damage to four hospitals and a clinic, as well as to churches, markets and other buildings, authorities said.Six hours after the quake, 447 aftershocks had been recorded across the region, the strongest at a magnitude of 4.6.The US Pacific Tsunami warning center initially said hazardous waves as high as three meters could strike anywhere within 1,000 kilometers of the quake’s epicenter, affecting the Pacific coast of Mexico and Central and South America. Topics : All the deaths occurred in Oaxaca, with the majority due to the collapse of buildings. A woman died near Crucecita, and five other people died in towns located within 150 kilometers of the epicenter, officials said.The 7.4 quake struck at a depth of 23 kilometers, the US Geological Survey reported. An initial tsunami warning was later reversed.There was no damage reported to “strategic infrastructure” including ports, airports, refineries and hydroelectric plants, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said in a video published on social media.
BIS Oxford Economics says Brisbane’s inner city apartment sector is the most oversupplied in Australia. Picture: Richard WalkerBRISBANE’S inner city apartment sector is now the most oversupplied market in Australia and is at risk of inflicting “collateral damage” on house prices, according to a leading economic forecaster.The latest predictions from BIS Oxford Economics paint a bleak picture of the outlook for the city’s property market, with median apartment prices forecast to fall another 7 per cent over the next three years.Its Residential Property Prospects 2017 to 2020 report released today reveals unit development accounted for 46 per cent of Queensland’s new dwelling starts in the four years to 2015/17, compared to 32 per cent in the prior five years. BIS Oxford Economics senior manager Angie Zigomanis.BIS Oxford Economics senior manager Angie Zigomanis said Queensland’s employment outlook was likely to improve and population growth to strengthen in the next three years, allowing for some modest house price growth.Brisbane’s median house price is predicted to rise 7 per cent by 2020.Mr Zigomanis said Brisbane’s price advantage over the southern capitals also made it attractive from an affordability perspective.All capital city housing markets are predicted to weaken next financial year as a result of further lending restrictions to investors and rising new stock levels.Sydney’s median house price of $1.2 million is forecast to fall five per cent over the next two financial years. BIS Oxford Economics’ latest report predicts inner Brisbane apartment prices to fall 7 per cent by 2020.BIS Oxford Economics managing director Robert Mellor said there were likely to be flow on effects for house price growth in Brisbane as potential buyers opted for apartments over houses or elected to rent for longer periods rather than buy to capitalise on discounted rents. Fancy a freebie with your new apartment? Buyers pick up bargains as Brisbane unit sales slump “My worry for Brisbane is you’ll get some overhang in the housing market because if developers are sitting there with 10 to 20 per cent of stock on hold, some of them are going to be doing good discounts on their prices,” Mr Mellor said.“That’s where we get a bit nervous. There’ll be a proponent of first home buyers that would rather buy a bargain apartment than an established house.“There’s a real risk of potentially … contagion.” BIS Oxford Economics predicts Brisbane’s apartment oversupply could impact house prices.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home4 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor4 hours agoHe said the inner Brisbane apartment market in the next financial year alone would see about six times the average level of completions seen in the two decades leading up to 2015.“Over the next six to 12 months, we’ll see reality set in and things will deteriorate rapidly,” Mr Mellor said.“I think there will be some collateral damage that might impact on high and medium density in the suburbs.” GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE BIS Oxford Economics estimates 6500 apartments will have been completed in inner Brisbane by the end of this financial year.It predicts another 9100 apartments will have been completed by the end of 2017/18 and yet another 6500 the following fiscal year.And he doesn’t expect supply to be absorbed before 2021.The report found house price growth in Brisbane has been patchy, with the median house price of an estimated $550,000 remaining below its June 2010 peak in real terms.But there is some good news to take out of the report.