At least 5 dead as magnitude-8.1 earthquake rocks southern Mexico

Violet Tucker
September 11, 2017

Mexico's Pacific coastal areas - as well as the coastlines of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica - experienced some tsunami waves, with some over 3 feet off the coast of Salina Cruz.

More than 600 aftershocks have been recorded since the natural disaster struck off the Mexico's southern Pacific coast just before midnight on Thursday local time.

Reports suggest there had been waves of up to one metre in some areas of Mexico following the natural disaster.

It was the strongest quake to hit Mexico since a devastating 1985 temblor that toppled buildings and killed thousands, Reuters reported, quoting Mexico's civil protection agency.

"We are assessing the damage, which will probably take hours, if not days", said Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, in an address to the nation about two hours after the natural disaster.

Mr Pena Nieto said on Friday evening in a televised address that at least 61 people were killed - 45 in Oaxaca state, 12 in Chiapas and 4 in Tabasco - and he declared three days of national mourning. Smaller tsunami waves were observed on the coast or measured by ocean gauges in several other places.

Mexico earthquake: Tsunami warnings triggered, 5 killed
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Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto mobilized Mexico's Army, Marines and Federal Police. The quake is being considered stronger than the 1985 quake that had caused significant damage to Mexico City and resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.

The quake was felt as far away as Mexico City and Guatemala City.

According to an Associated Press report, Mexican authorities confirmed 35 people were killed, including two children in the state of Tabasco.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System initially said the quake was a potential tsunami threat to several Central American countries, but have since rescinded that warning. At least 20 people died in Oaxaca state and home collapsed, Governor Alejandro Murat said by phone. People came out of the apartments, houses and gathers in groups in the streets of Mexico.

Residents drive by a collapsed building felled by a massive quake, in Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017.

Mexico is also facing threat from Hurricane Katia, which is expected to hit its eastern coast.

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Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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