Americas News

Magnitude-8 earthquake hits southern Mexico, triggering tsunami fears

A strong earthquake struck off the southern coast of Mexico late Thursday night, setting off concerns of tsunami waves for several nearby countries.

A strong earthquake struck off the southern coast of Mexico late Thursday night, prompting tsunami warnings threats for several nearby countries.

The magnitude 8.1 quake struck around 11:50 CT (0450 GMT), in the Pacific Ocean off the Chiapas state near the Guatemala border.

At least 58 people have died in Mexico, including two children killed when a wall fell on them and a baby who died after power was cut to a hospital.

At least 23 people died in Oaxaca state, Governor Alejandro Murat said. Civil defense officials said at least seven people died in Chiapas state, and two others died in Tabasco state.

Another person was reported killed in Guatemala.

The United States Geological Survey reported over 20 strong aftershocks in the Gulf of Tehuantepec following the initial earthquake, which was felt 650 miles (1000km) away in the capital Mexico City. President Enrique Pena Nieto said the quake was the largest felt in the country in 100 years.

Homes, schools and hospitals are reported damaged across Chiapas, and Tabasco governor Arturo Núñez Jiménez announced that schools will be closed throughout the state on Friday.

According to the U.S. tsunami warning center, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Ecuador are under the threat of tsunami waves.

The U.S. National Weather Service confirmed a tsunami in Mexico at 1:04 a.m. CT, with the largest wave just over 2 feet (0.7m).


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