U.S. Tsunami Warning As 8.2 Quake Strikes Off Mexican Coast; Death Toll Rising [PHOTOS, VIDEOS]

An earthquake in Mexico has killed at least five people and sparked a tsunami. Picture: Twitter/ThinkMexican

RT| The death toll in the 8.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico on Friday continues to rise, local authorities report. Three people were killed in the state of Chiapas, while two children died in neighboring Tabasco state.

The epicenter of the quake was at a depth of 33 km (21 miles), 123 km (76 miles) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan, not far from the Guatemalan border.

The US Tsunami Warning System said hazardous tsunami waves are likely to follow in eight neighboring countries, including Ecuador, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador, and Costa Rica.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a televised statement that the 8.2-magnitude quake is the strongest to hit the country in a century.

He confirmed that at least five people have died in the disaster, adding the tremors initially left 1 million Mexicans without power, but the power supply has been restored to 800,000 of them.

Pena Nieto added there have been 62 aftershocks, including one as powerful as 7.2-magnitude.

© usgs.gov

Pena Nieto said the state of Chiapas declared a state of emergency, adding that the government is keeping an eye on neighboring municipalities affected by the quake, local media report.

Mexican authorities say this was the strongest earthquake in the country since the 1985 quake that killed thousands of people in Mexico City and caused serious damage.

The PTWC issued an updated situation report, saying that “Tsunami waves reaching more than 3 meters above the tide level are possible along some coasts of Mexico,” and waves reaching up to one meter are expected to hit the coastlines of adjacent countries.

“Persons located in threatened coastal areas should stay alert for information and follow instructions from national and local authorities,” the organization said.

Mexican authorities have set up a coordination center to plan for relief efforts.

Photos have emerged online showing the impact of the earthquake in Chiapas, including damage to buildings, roads, and local infrastructure.