Mexico City, Mexico. Sept. 8th: A powerful 8.2 magnitude earthquake has struck 20 miles under the Pacific off the southern coast of Mexico, near the border with Guatemala, reportedly killing at least three and triggering a tsunami warning for several countries. The temblor, occurred off the coast of Chiapas about 10 minutes before midnight local time, NOAA’s National Weather Service said Friday.
A tsunami warning has been issued for Mexico, where a wave as large as 0.7 meters in height has already been confirmed. Also at risk, but from less hazardous waves, are Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras. The shock from the temblor was felt in Mexico City, where tremors rattled buildings for up to a mintue, the BBC reported.
At least two people have died in the state of Chiapas, Reuters reported, citing the Mexican interior minister. There is currently no tsunami threat to Hawaii, Guam or American Samoa, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said on Twitter.
At least three people were reported killed in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, government officials said. In Tabasco state, two children were left dead, one a baby who died in hospital after the power went out.
Meanwhile, U.S. forecasters said “hazardous” tsunami waves of more than nine feet above the tide level were possible along the Mexican coast. Waves of around three feet have already been observed, they said.
They also predicted that tsunamis of up to three feet could hit as far away as American Samoa, New Zealand and Antarctica. Later, they updated the warning to say there was no threat to American Samoa, Hawaii and Guam. There are tsunami warnings in place for Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras.
The tremors were so severe that people in Mexico City, over 500 miles away, fled shaking buildings in their pajamas.
Witnesses in Mexico City described the ground shaking for a full 45 seconds.
Photo: Patients and Doctors wait outside a hospital after the earthquake
Mexico’s civil protection agency said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the capital since a devastating 1985 tremor that flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands.
There were no immediate reports of major damage in the capital but windows were broken at the airport and power went out in several major neighborhoods. At least five aftershocks were reported. The quake knocked out power throughout southern Mexico.
Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco told reporters that the roofs of homes and a shopping center had collapsed in San Cristobal.
“There are damages in hospitals that have lost energy,” he said. “Homes, schools and hospitals have been affected.”