Deadly earthquake rattles Mexico, prompts warnings of tsunami waves
A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck Oaxaca, Mexico, early Tuesday and was felt throughout Mexico, including Mexico City where this sidewalk crack opened and closed.
A magnitude 7.4 earthquake along the southern coast of Mexico rocked much of the country Tuesday morning, knocking out power, damaging buildings and triggering hazardous tsunami waves. The U.S. Geological Survey initially reported the quake's magnitude as a 7.7.
The quake's epicenter was located 7.6 miles (12 km) near the town of Santa María Zapotitlán, located in the state of Oaxaca, and home to a population of around 1,100. Oaxaca, the capital city of the state, is located about 90 miles from the epicenter and home to over 250,000 people.
A report from Reuters said that at least six people were killed in the state as a result of the quake, and there are several others with injuries.
The depth of the quake was about 16 miles (26 km). It occurred just before 10:30 a.m. local time Tuesday.
Light to moderate shaking was reported in the nation's capital of Mexico City, over 700 miles away. The temblor was also felt on the opposite coast of the country including in the port city of Veracruz. Buildings reportedly swayed in Mexico City, according to The Associated Press.
"We couldn’t walk... the street was like chewing gum,” Miguel Candelaria, 30, a resident of the town of Juchitan, located in Oaxaca, told Reuters. He told Reuters that as he and his family ran out of their home, the pavement on the road began to buckle.
The AP reported that power was knocked out in some areas as thousands of residents poured into the streets as seismic alarms sounded. The AP, citing local media, said there was some damage to buildings in the city of Oaxaca. Photos showed law enforcement at the scenes of multiple partially collapsed buildings in the region.
The Governor of Oaxaca requested an emergency declaration and announced that shelters were being open across the state to support those who were affected.
The National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) on Tuesday said that "hazardous tsunami waves are possible for coasts located within 621 miles (1,000 km) of the epicenter." which included coastal areas of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.
A tsunami wave around 2.3 feet in height were observed near Salina Cruz, Mexico, while a wave about 2.2 feet was reported along the shores of Acapulco. The tsunami threat has since ended.
The President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, announced that at least 147 aftershocks followed the quake by noon on Tuesday. As of early Wednesday morning, Mexico's National Seismological Service said that more than 1570 aftershocks were detected, including a quake registering 5.5 on the Richter Scale.
Photos that surfaced on social media showed the ocean receding near the Huatulco resort in Oaxaca. Reuters reported that Mexico's Civil Protection Agency urged residents to move away from the coastline due to the tsunami risk.
Shaking was reported as far south as Honduras, according to the USGS.
For residents cleaning up following the quake, typical late-June conditions are expected across the state of Oaxaca.
"Showers and thunderstorms are likely to pop up across the region, especially in the afternoons, through Friday," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller. Downpours and lightning danger could slow recovery efforts.
Thunderstorm activity is expected to become less widespread over the weekend.
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