MEXICO CITY: An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 hit the Mexican city and scientists has warned the residents of Mexico of tsunami with highest waves.
At least two people were said to have been killed, according to some media reports.
The Pacific Tsunami warning center said a Tsunami, with the largest wave of 0.7 meters (2.3 feet), is heading towards Mexico.
“Tsunami waves reaching more than three meters above the tide level are possible along the coasts of Mexico,” it said, with lower waves in other countries.
The governor of the Mexican state of Chiapas says that at least three people have been killed in his region.
Gov. Manuel Velasco told Milenio TV that the deaths occurred in San Cristobal de las Casas. He also said that the quake damaged hospitals and schools:
“There are damages in hospitals that have lost energy. Homes, schools and hospitals have been affected,” he added.
Mexico’s civil protection agency said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the country since a devastating 1985 tremor that toppled buildings and killed thousands.
People in Mexico City ran out into the streets in pyjamas and alarms sounded after the quake struck just before midnight, a Reuters witness said. Power went out in some neighborhoods.
“I had never been anywhere where the earth moved so much. At first I laughed, but when the lights went out I didn’t know what to do. I nearly fell over,” said Luis Carlos Briceno, an architect, 31, who was visiting Mexico City.
The epicenter was 123 km (76 miles) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan, at a depth of 33 km (21 miles). Widespread, hazardous tsunami waves were possible, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.
According to reports, eight countries have received tsunami alerts after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake struck 120 kilometers southwest of Mexico, according to US Geological Survey data.
The US Tsunami Warning System said hazardous tsunami waves are likely to follow in eight neighboring countries, including Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.