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Mexico earthquake: Tsunami triggered as magnitude 8.1 quake kills 32 and sparks warnings across Central America

Lydia Smith
The Independent

At least 32 people have been killed after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck Mexico, causing a tsunami and warnings for countries across Central America.

The Governor of the Mexican state of Chiapas announced the first fatalities following the most powerful quake to hit the country since 1985, striking 119km south-southwest of Tres Picos.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said a tsunami had been triggered by the quake, with warnings issued for people in Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Ecuador.

The centre warned waves could reach over ten feet along the Mexican shore near the epicentre of the quake.

Waves between 0.3 and one metre have been predicted for the Cook Islands, Ecuador, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guatemala and Kiritabi.

The centre forecast waves of 0.3 metres could reach Australia, Vietnam and Japan.

In the Philippines, the national disaster agency put the country's eastern seaboard on alert for a possible tsunami, Reuters reported.

The earthquake struck shortly after midnight off the coast of Mexico, leaving some buildings severely damaged in the south of the country.

The US Geological Survey estimates the earthquake, felt in Belize and Guatemala, occurred at a depth of 43 miles.

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.

Manuel Velasco, the governor of Chiapas state, said the quake had destroyed homes and buildings and left some hospitals without power.

He has called for the evacuation of coastal areas in the southern state due to the tsunami alert.

The current Foreign Office travel advice says: “Most of Mexico is occasionally subject to earthquakes. Tremors occur regularly, particularly in the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero."


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