Quake Rattles Symposium-goers

GUADALAJARA, Mexico, OCT. 8, 2004 (Zenit.org).- An earthquake shook western Mexico when participants in the international Theological Pastoral Symposium were attending Mass.

The quake of magnitude 4.2 struck Thursday at 9:55 a.m. just as Communion was being distributed to the symposium’s participants, who include 15 cardinals, 14 archbishops and 38 bishops. The Mass continued.

The quake set off alarm bells outside the multi-use hall of the University of Valle de Atemajac, where the symposium is being held. The symposium is being held in preparation for the International Eucharistic Congress that begins Sunday.

About 5,000 university students were evacuated from campus by authorities as a precaution.

The earthquake, centered a few miles west of Mexico’s second-largest city, might be connected to the activity of the nearby volcano of Colima. Jalisco state officials reported only minor damage, and no injuries.