At least four people were killed in a powerful
magnitude-8.1 earthquake that hit off the South-
Western coast of Mexico, toppling buildings and
triggering tsunami warnings on Friday.
The quake was centred about 87 kilometres off the
state of Chiapas and struck at a depth of 69.7
kilometres at 11:49 p.m. on Thursday (0449 GMT
Friday), the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Two children died as a result of the earthquake, said
Arturo Jimenez, the governor of the state of
Tabasco, located north of Chiapas.
One of the children died at hospital after a power
failure caused life-saving equipment to stop
operating while the other was killed when a wall
collapsed, he said.
In Chiapas, two women were killed by falling debris,
according to local media.
Waves surging more than three metres above
normal tide are possible along the coast of
Waves reaching up to one metre could take place in
Central American states and in western Pacific
islands such as Fiji and New Zealand, the Pacific
Tsunami Warning Centre said.
The shock was felt in the capital Mexico City, about
1,000 kilometres away, where frightened residents
fled from swaying buildings and into the streets,
many of them in their nightdresses.
Patients were evacuated from some hospitals
across the quake zone as a precaution.
Classes were cancelled on Friday across southern
Mexican states in order to inspect buildings to
make sure they are structurally sound.
Electricity was knocked out in several areas of the
In neighbouring Guatemala, President Jimmy
Morales said damaged assessments would soon
begin. “Please remain calm,’’ he urged on Twitter.
Mexico has substantial quake activity and is also
prone to other natural threats such as hurricanes,
floods and volcanoes.
On Sept. 19, 1985, thousands were killed when two
violent earthquakes destroyed large parts of the