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Malia Obama 'safe' after powerful earthquake in Mexico

21 MARCH 2012

The US President's daughter Malia Obama is "safe and was never in danger", after an earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit Mexico, where she was on a school trip, the White House said.

According to the Associated Press, the first daughter was staying near the epicentre in the southern state of Oaxaca accompanied by Secret Service agents.

The tremors were described as some of "the strongest we've ever felt" by the country's President Felipe Calderon.

  

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The White House does not discuss the President's children, but broke with policy to announce that the 13-year-old was safe, after media reports that she was on holiday in the region.

"We would reiterate our request that the media respect the privacy and security of the Obama children and not report on or photograph the girls when they are not with their parents," said Kristina Schake, the first lady Michelle's communications director.

Aftershocks followed that shook southern Mexico. Buildings swayed for at least a minute in the capital Mexico City and frightened workers and residents ran into the streets.

No one was injured but the quake revived memories of a disaster in 1985 when 10,000 people were killed.

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