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Earthquake strikes off Mexico's Pacific coast

Kalerkantho Online   

8 September, 2017 13:34 PM



Earthquake strikes off Mexico's Pacific coast

People gather outside a hospital in Mexico City: EPA

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A strong earthquake of magnitude 8.1 has struck in the Pacific off the southern coast of Mexico, killing at least five people.

The epicentre was about 87km (54 miles) south-west of the town of Pijijiapan and at a depth of 70km, the United States Geological Survey said, reports BBC.

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 people running into the street.

The tremors there, about 1,000km from the epicentre, were reported to have lasted up to a minute.

Two deaths were reported in Mexico's Chiapas state, closer to the epicentre, and two more in Tabasco state.

Guatemala's president also reported at least one death in his country.

Damage was reported to buildings in southern Mexico and in Guatemala.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that tsunami waves "reaching more than three metres above the tide level are possible along the coasts of Mexico". There is a coastal evacuation in Chiapas state.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted that he was in contact with the country's centre for disaster prevention. Schools have been closed in Mexico City and Chiapas state.

If confirmed at magnitude 8.1, the quake would be bigger in strength to those that struck Mexico in 1995 and 1985. The latter hit close to Mexico City and caused thousands of deaths.

The Mexican interior ministry has given the latest quake a higher magnitude, of 8.4, which would be the highest the country has ever recorded.


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