Mexico earthquake: massive 7.4 magnitude jolts Oaxaca, kills at least 5

Mexico earthquake: massive 7.7 magnitude jolts Oaxaca; tsunami warned, 1 killed

A massive earthquake shook south and central Mexico on Tuesday, with tremors felt 400-km away from the epicenter, the national seismological service of Mexico confirms. At least 5 people have been killed.

According to media reports, the quake struck Oaxaca (epicenter) in southern Mexico in local time at 10:29 AM, and tremors were felt strongly in Mexico City, which is 400 km away and thousands ran out into the streets, panicking and fearing.

Image courtesy of @KOutebi via Twitter

Properties have been damaged in Central Oaxaca, with images showing big chunks of building scattered on the streets. According to updated data, two people were killed in Central Oaxaca. Federal civil defense authorities reported two more deaths both killed in Oaxaca village of San Agustin Amatengo after being crushed by adjoining structures, Associated Press reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured the quakes to touch 7.4. Quakes of this magnitude can be devastating. Preliminary video footages from shopping malls and stores show stocks stumbled on the floor (watch below).

“Our fan was moving around a lot, you could hear the noise of the walls and the earthmoving, things started falling off the shelves in the kitchen and crashing and breaking on the ground,” Richard Hanson, an American NGO operator in Oaxaca’s state capital told The Guardian.

People ran out in the open, flouting social distancing and wearing no masks, despite being suggested to wear (Image courtesy of @jasonfritz vi Twitter)

“My heads still spinning from 7.1 earthquakes felt across Mexico – epicenter in Oaxaca. One of our main fears during earthquakes in Mexico City is the power lines exploding – fortunately, these didn’t fall down but they sure looked like they might,” a Twitter user wrote from Mexico City.

According to initial media reports, Tsunami warning was in effect after the Mexico earthquake. However, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, the risks have subdued. In an updated statement, the PTWC wrote, based on available data, risks of Tsunami waves have largely passed. It has however warned, “minor sea-level fluctuations of up to 0.3 meters above and below the normal tide may continue over the next few hours.”

Astounding video footage of a joint ground in the sidewalk dangerously separating and attaching from the earthquake shows the power of the tremors (see below). The main earthquake was followed by a number of aftershocks, most of them were small. Seismologist Paul Earle from U.S. Geological Survey told “This area is capable of and has had larger earthquakes in the past.”

In 1985, Mexico City was hit by a mega 8.0 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 5000 people and wreaking devastating damages in the city. AP notes, in the past 35-years, over there has been at least seven earthquakes touching 7 magnitudes or greater, killing thousands.

Another scary footage shows a big building swaying from the powerful Mexico earthquake. Reports suggest today’s quake was stronger than the 2017 earthquake that took 360 lives. Damages in the epicenter area are yet to be amassed.

Another footage shows water in a private swimming pool swaying to an extent it is overflowing. According to Lumen, tremors between 7.0 – 7.9 are deemed ‘major’ and can cause ‘extensive damage,’ and destroy some buildings.

NOTE: the post has been updated with accurate information. The initial magnitude of the earthquake was being thought of as 7.7 which is being corrected to 7.5. The change has been made in the headline and in one paragraph. More information has been added regarding mortality in the aftermath.

(Cover image courtesy of @HoyGuerrero via Twitter).