Mexico hit by massive magnitude 8.1 earthquake

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Mexico – A massive earthquake measuring 8.1 has hit off Mexico’s southern coast, killing five people in the state of Chiapas. The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 11:49pm on Thursday local time and its epicentre was 165 kilometres west of Tapachula in Chiapas, not far from Guatemala. It had a depth of 69.7 kilometres.There were reported several aftershocks, all greater than a 5 magnitude, according to Reuters news agency. Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto said the earthquake is “the biggest magnitude to be recorded in our country in at least the last 100 years”. He further said that 1 million people were initially without power but was restored since to 800,000 of them. Houses toppled and the quake produced tsunami waves and sent people running into the streets in panic. Residents fled buildings, many in their pyjamas, and gathered in frightened groups in the street. Some neighbourhoods remained in darkness after electricity was knocked out.

The US Tsunami Warning System said hazardous tsunami waves were possible on the Pacific coasts of several Central American countries, including Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Honduras, within three hours. A tsunami was also confirmed for Mexico, with the largest wave measuring one metre, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre.

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