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Mexico’s Strongest Quake Since 1985 Kills 2, Triggers Tsunami

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An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 struck off the southern coast of Mexico late on Thursday, the US Geological Survey [USGS] said, shaking buildings as far away as Guatemala and sending people running into the streets in the capital.

Mexico Earthquake

The Mexican interior minister said at least two people were killed in the southern state of Chiapas. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center confirmed the largest wave of 0.7 meters.

Mexico's civil protection agency said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the capital since a devastating 1985 tremor that flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands.

There were no immediate reports of major damage but windows were broken at the airport and power went out in several major neighborhoods of the capital. The cornice of a hotel collapsed in the southern tourist city of Oaxaca, a witness said.

People in the capital, one of the world's largest cities, ran out into the streets in pajamas and alarms sounded after the quake struck just before midnight, a Reuters witness said.

Helicopters hovered overhead a few minutes later, apparently looking for damage to buildings in the city built on a spongy, drained lake bed.

In one central neighborhood, dozens of people stood outside after the quake, some wrapped in blankets against the cool night air. Children were crying.

Liliana Villa, 35, was in her apartment when the earthquake struck and she fled to the street in her pajamas. "It felt horrible, and I thought, 'this is going to fall'."

The epicenter was located as 123 km southwest of the town of Pijijiapan, at a revised depth of 43 miles.

Widespread, hazardous tsunami waves were possible within three hours, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.

The USGS reported several aftershocks, all greater than 5 magnitude.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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