Earthquake in Mexico 'strongest in a century'

Posted September 10

A van sits in a pile of rubble after it was smashed by a wall that collapsed during a massive earthquake, in Mexico City, Friday Sept. 8, 2017. One of the most powerful earthquakes ever to strike Mexico hit off its southern Pacific coast, killing at least 35 people, toppling houses, government offices and businesses. Mexico's capital escaped major damage, but the quake terrified sleeping residents, many of whom still remember the catastrophic 1985 earthquake that killed thousands and devastated large parts of the city. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

The strongest earthquake to strike Mexico in a decade left at least 29 people dead overnight, according to CNN.

The 8.1-magnitude quake, which reached from Guatemala City to Mexico City, registered on the southern coast of the country.

"It's a big quake. It's about 70 miles offshore, but it's not an unheard of quake," Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center, told NBC News.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the earthquake was the strongest in a century, according to CNN.

The earthquake directly affected the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca. CNN reported that 23 people died in Oaxaca, two in Chiapas and two more in Tabasco.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know:

Any aftershocks?: Yes. According to the Los Angeles Times, there were at least 20 aftershocks of 4.0 magnitude or higher after the initial quake. Nieto said one aftershock of 7.2 magnitude also occurred.

And there’s a tsunami warning: According to CBS News, the quake created tsunami waves off the coast, sending people into a panic on the Mexican streets. The National Weather Service confirmed this report, saying the waves reached a height of 3.3 feet.

What’s the damage?: Business buildings and homes shook violently because of the quake, according to the Associated Press. "There is damage to hospitals that have lost energy," Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco said, according to the AP. "Homes, schools and hospitals have been damaged."

Shaking buildings: BBC shared a video that shows the tremors on camera, rattling a bowling alley in Tuxtla Gutierrez.

More footage: CNN posted a video on Twitter of lamp posts swaying violently because of the earthquake.

Green light flashes: Yahoo News reported that mysterious green and blue flashes lit up the sky outside of Mexico City following the earthquake.

Hurricane nearby: As the earthquake struck, rains for the approaching Hurricane Katia were pouring down on the eastern side of the country, according to CNN.

Mexico’s history of earthquakes: Residents of Mexico City often think about earthquakes after one in 1985 killed 5,000 people and destroyed large parts of the city, the LA Times reported.

What about the missionaries?: The LDS Church issued a statement about the earthquake, saying all missionaries “are safe and well.”


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