At least 32 people were killed after a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake, one of the biggest recorded in Mexico, struck off the country’s southern coast late on Thursday, causing cracks in buildings and triggering a small tsunami, authorities said.
A number of buildings suffered severe damage in parts of southern Mexico. Some of the worst initial reports came from the town of Juchitan in Oaxaca state, where sections of the town hall, a hotel, a bar and other buildings were reduced to rubble.
Alejandro Murat, the state governor, said 23 deaths were registered in Oaxaca, 17 of them in Juchitan.
A spokesman for emergency services said seven people were also confirmed dead in the neighboring state of Chiapas. Earlier, the governor of Tabasco, Arturo Nunez, said two children had died in his state.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the 8.1 magnitude quake had its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, 54 miles (87 km) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan in the impoverished southern state of Chiapas, at a depth of 43 miles.
The earthquake caused damage as far away as Mexico City and Guatemala. Tremors were reportedly felt as far away as Austin, Texas – more than 1,300 miles from the epicentre.