At least fifteen people have been killed after an 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the southern coast of Mexico overnight, according to officials in the country.
The Mexican Seismological Institute said the earthquake measured 8.4 in magnitude, making it the most powerful to strike Mexico since the disastrous earthquake of 1985, which caused extensive damage in Mexico City and left at least 5,000 people dead.
The epicenter of Thursday’s earthquake was about 60 miles off the coast of Chiapas State, near the border with Guatemala, according to the United States Geological Survey, which measured the quake’s magnitude at 8.1.
The National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center warned that tsunami waves as high as nine feet might hit along Mexico’s Pacific coast. Tsunami waves of 2.3 feet were observed in Huatulco, a resort city in Mexico’s Oaxaca state, according to the center.
The earthquake struck at 9:49 p.m. Pacific time Thursday. The shaking toppled houses in Chiapas state, the Associated Press reported, and was felt in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where President Jimmy Morales said in a televised address that there had been some damage and possibly one death.
The quake was felt powerfully more than 650 miles away in Mexico City, where buildings shook for about a minute and the sky lit up as electrical transformers exploded. Residents — many barefoot and dressed in pajamas — fled swaying apartment buildings, seeking safer ground in the streets. ——–
A strong earthquake of magnitude 8 has struck in the Pacific off the southern coast of Mexico.
The epicentre was about 100km south-west of the town of Pijijiapan and at a depth of 35km, the United States Geological Survey said.
A tsunami warning has been issued for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras.
The quake was felt in Mexico City, with buildings shaking and people running into the street.
One visitor to the city, Luis Carlos Briceno, told Reuters: “I had never been anywhere where the earth moved so much.”
Some electricity cuts have been reported in the capital.
No tsunami warning has been issued for the US west coast.
Mexico is currently also being threatened on its eastern coast by Hurricane Katia.
The category one hurricane is about 300km south-east of Tampico and has sustained winds of 140km/h the National Hurricane Center says.