Earthquake rocks Mexico City in second disaster this week

Though Mexico City is 145 miles from the epicenter of a 5.6 magnitude earthquake that struck a few minutes ago, the 30- or 40-second jolt seemed to many as a true act of God, in the midst of the swine flu epidemic that has killed as many as 195, nearly all young men.

Though the flu typically is most dangerous for the old and very young, this one has been most devastating in that, mysteriously, it has taken men between the ages of 25 and 45 -- almost exclusively. And most reports are that the men who are dying were healthy, physically active people.

No immediate damage from the earthquake was seen in Mexico City, though people began to pour out of buildings, many wearing surgical masks to prevent spreading infection.

What is immediate and obvious is the impression that the area is suffering from a coincidence of crises that seems both terrifying and unfair.

The epicenter of the quake, in the state of Guerrero about 43 miles northeast of Acapulco, is very near one of Mexico's most precious resources; its tourist spots.

It's hard not to come to the conclusion that this one-two punch of flu followed by earthquake, as a producer from CNN said he heard someone in Mexico City's streets commenting, seems almost apocalyptic in scale.

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