8.1 Earthquake Hits Mexico’s Southern Coasts, Capital City; At Least Two Dead – Tsunami Alert Issued

Mexico’s capital city was struck early Friday with an 8.1 earthquake in the scale of Richter. The epicenter of the strong quake was Pijijiapan, Chiapas, a state that borders with Guatemala. Residents of the affected areas, which include Mexico City, Puebla, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and the State of Mexico, have been sharing on social media videos of the precise moment when the earthquake hit.

The earthquake hit the capital city at 11:47 p.m. local time. Jana Pursely, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) mentioned that this had been a particularly shallow earthquake.

“The shaking along the coast of Chiapas at this point is estimated to be very strong to severe,” Pursely told CNN.

“I would expect damage along the coast of Chiapas.”

According to Miguel Ángel Mancera, mayor of Mexico City, several areas are without power, but so far no casualties have been reported. Other places were not as lucky, though. Authorities are reporting that, even though they are still evaluating the damages in different cities, residents of Juchitan, Oaxaca, have sent images to different Twitter accounts confirming severe destruction in the area.

Chiapas has officially canceled classes for tomorrow in all of its schools to assess the structures before letting children come back. State authorities have also confirmed at least two casualties arising from the natural phenomenon.

Earthquake in Mexico results in major damage
Mexico's coastal towns suffered major losses after the 8.1 earthquake. [Felix Marquez/AP Images]

According to the USGS website, so far there have been nine aftershocks; a 5.7 in the scale of Richter being the strongest one. Following the earthquake, a Tsunami alert was issued for several coastal states in Mexico, as well as other Central America countries, including El Salvador, Honduras, and Costa Rica.

The Tsunami has already hit Mexico’s southern coasts, with five-foot waves already being reported off the coast of Huatulco, Guerrero.

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This has been the strongest earthquake in Mexico since 1985. On September 19 of that year, an 8.1 quake originating off the coast of Michoacan hit Mexico City and surrounding areas, leaving over 10,000 dead and insurmountable devastation to buildings and structures. It took months for residents of the affected states to go back to their day-to-day lives.

While devastating in many ways, the 1985 earthquake did bring new construction regulations for Mexico City. Any structure build after that year has had little to no damage since then. Even though this quake was a strong as the one back then, this time casualties in Mexico City are not expected.

Even though residents in Mexico City were visibly shaken and shocked by the strong tremors they were feeling, it seems that not much in the capital city was damaged.

[Featured Image by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images]