8.0 earthquake hits near Mexico; tsunami threat to NZ

Mexico earthquake: Tsunami warnings triggered, 5 killed

Mexico earthquake: Tsunami warnings triggered, 5 killed

Officials in Mexico are scrambling to respond to a 8.1 magnitude natural disaster off the country's southern coast that has killed at least 61 people and triggered tremors across the region, according to The Independent.

Mexico's Pacific coastal areas - as well as the coastlines of Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica - are now on alert for tsunami waves.

Mexico was on Thursday night hit by a magnitude 8.1 quake, leaving about 38 persons dead, according to CNN.

Reports suggest there had been waves of up to one metre in some areas of Mexico following the quake. CNN reported that 23 people died in Oaxaca, two in Chiapas and two more in Tabasco. 61 people until now have been announced dead and President Enrique Peña Nieto suspects at least 200 people have been injured.

Tremors shook bordering Guatemala and the state of Chiapas, Mexico, up through the country, and could be felt in the United States as north as Dallas, according to felt reports submitted to the United States Geological Survey. The US Geological Survey has recorded at least 20 aftershocks since Thursday's quake.

Mexico earthquake

Juchitan, in the state of Oaxaca, was the worst-hit city.

"The power of this quake was devastating", Pena Nieto said, but added that Mexico's response "will be greater".

The quake struck at a depth of 33 kilometers (21 miles), the USGS said. More than five-thousand homes were completely destroyed in Mexico city alone and since the 8.1 magnitude quake struck, there have been more than 300 aftershocks felt. One of the children was killed after a wall collapsed and the other was a baby that died in a hospital that lost electricity, Tabasco Gov. Arturo Nunez told the AP.

Japan's weather agency has said quake-induced tsunamis may cause slight sea-level changes on Japan's Pacific coast early Saturday, with no damaging waves expected.

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