An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 struck off the southern coast of Mexico late on Thursday, Sept. 7, killing at least two people, and triggering small tsunami waves and damaging some buildings, according to a Reuters Sept. 8 report.
The quake was apparently stronger than a devastating 1985 tremor that flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands, but initial reports of damage in the city were limited.
The epicentre was 123 km (76 miles) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan in the southern state of Chiapas, at a revised depth of 43 miles. Three people were killed in the state, said Manuel Velasquez, the governor of Chiapas.
The quake triggered waves as high as 2.3 ft (0.7 m) in Mexico, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said. It said widespread, hazardous tsunami waves were possible within three hours.
As far as 14,000 km (8700 miles) away in the Philippines, the national disaster agency put the country’s entire eastern seaboard on alert for a possible tsunami. No forced evacuation was ordered, but residents were told to monitor emergency radio broadcasts.
In Mexico, some buildings were severely damaged in the south of the country. Windows were broken at Mexico City airport and power went out in several neighbourhoods of the capital. The cornice of a hotel collapsed in the southern tourist city of Oaxaca, a witness said.