Mexico earthquake: Tsunami alert as magnitude 8.1 tremor rattles buildings in the capital

Mexico earthquake: Tsunami alert as magnitude 8.1 tremor rattles buildings in the capitalMagnitude 8.1 earthquake hits off Mexico Tsunami warnings issued Frightened Mexico City residents gather in streets Blackouts in capital Damage reported in Chiapas state A very powerful earthquake has struck off the coast of Mexico, shaking buildings in the capital and sparking tsunami warnings.  The USGS said a magnitude 8.1 quake struck  123 km (76 miles) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan, at a depth of 33 km (21 miles). Widespread, hazardous tsunami waves were possible, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.  "Tsunami waves reaching more than three meters above the tide level are possible along the coasts of Mexico," it said, with lower waves in other countries.  A handout photo made available by the United States Geological Survey shows an intensity map showing the location of a 8.0 magnitude earthquake Credit: EPA Civil protection officials were checking for damage in Chiapas, but the quake was so powerful that frightened residents in Mexico City more than 650 miles away fled apartment buildings, often in their pajamas, and gathered in groups in the street. Around midnight buildings swayed strongly for more than minute, loosening light fixtures from ceilings. Helicopters crisscrossed the sky above Mexico City with spotlights. Some neighborhoods kept electricity while others remained in darkness.  More updates to follow. 7:15AM Guatemala president calls for calm In neighbouring Guatemala, President Jimmy Morales spoke on national television to call for calm while emergency crews checked for damage. Local radio in the Central American country reported one death, but it could not be confirmed. "We have reports of some damage and the death of one person, even though we still don't have exact details," Morales said. He said the possible death occurred in San Marcos state near the border with Mexico.  7:14AM 'The house moved like chewing gum' Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, a poor largely indigenous state popular with tourists, described the moment the quake struck.  "The house moved like chewing gum and the light and internet went out momentarily." Civil Defence in Chiapas said on its Twitter account that its personnel were in the streets aiding people and warned residents to prepare for aftershocks. But it made no immediate comment about damage. 7:10AM Scenes in Mexico City People gather on a street in downtown Mexico City during an earthquake Credit: AFP Patients and doctors of a hospital of Mexico City, Credit: EPA 7:00AM 'It felt horrible' In one central neighbourhood, dozens of people stood outside after the quake, some wrapped in blankets against the cool night air. Children were crying. Liliana Villa, 35, was in her apartment when the earthquake struck and she fled to the street in her pyjamas. "It felt horrible, and I thought, 'this is going to fall'." 6:58AM Videos show moment quake struck Por incrível que pareça, autoridades do #México estão esperando danos moderados após fortíssimo terremoto de magnitude 8.0— RENOVA (@RenovaMidia) September 8, 2017 Primeiras imagens do momento do tremor no #México.— RENOVA (@RenovaMidia) September 8, 2017 6:55AM Reports of hotel guests trapped In Oaxaca, there are reports on social media of  guests being trapped in a hotel.  En Matías Romero urge ayuda para el Hotel Anel hay personas atrapadas *URGENTE— OAXACA IN (@oaxacain) September 8, 2017 6:46AM Pictures emerge of damage Así en Chiapas— Gonzalo Segundo (@justgonzo_) September 8, 2017 Reportan que en Tonalá, Chiapas hay casas dañadas por el temblor Foto: Miguel Vasallo Natarén— Renato Flores Cartas (@RenatoFloresC) September 8, 2017 Camino al Jobo en Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas, hay piedras en la carretera producto de deslave— expertosenarte® (@expertosenarte) September 8, 2017 6:40AM 'I nearly fell over' Residents in Mexico City are describing the moment when the quake struck.  Luis Carlos Briceno, an architect, 31, who was visiting Mexico City, said: "I had never been anywhere where the earth moved so much. At first I laughed, but when the lights went out I didn't know what to do. I nearly fell over." 6:39AM Strongest quake since 1985 Mexico's civil protection agency said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the country since a devastating 1985 tremor that toppled buildings and killed thousands. 6:35AM Big aftershock hits Mexico A 5,7 magnitude earthquake has hit near the coast of Oaxaca in Mexico.  Prelim M5.7 earthquake near the coast of Oaxaca, Mexico Sep-8 05:01 UTC, updates— USGS Big Quakes (@USGSBigQuakes) September 8, 2017 6:32AM Guatemala also hit by quake The earthquake also rattled large parts of Guatemala. Residents in the city of Quetzaltenango say they are without electricity and firefighters are assessing the extent of the damage.  #SismoGT Por fuerte sismo, bomberos verifican si hay daños en Quetzaltenango, ciudad está sin energía eléctrica.— elQuetzalteco (@elQuetzalteco) September 8, 2017 6:30AM Estimated tsunami times  The current Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is 5.29am. Read details on tsunami warnings from the powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake off the coast of Mexico here:— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) September 8, 2017 6:28AM Countries under tsunami threat The U.S. Tsunami Warning System said the earthquake was a potential tsunami threat to several Central American countries, including the Pacific coastlines of Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, El Salvador and Costa Rica. It said the threat was still being evaluated for Hawaii, Guam and other Pacific islands. 6:27AM Buildings without power in capital Witnesses say the power has been knocked out in parts of the capital, Mexico City, after the quake. The quake struck at night and frightened residents are gathering in the streets.  A big earthquake just hit Mexico City. Buildings lost power and people fled into the street barefoot and in pajamas.— Kate Linthicum (@katelinthicum) September 8, 2017 6:22AM Tsunami threat The US tsunami warning system has issued a number of warnings for the region.  Tsunami warnings Credit: NOAA 6:12AM People fled to streets People in Mexico City ran out into the streets after the quake struck, a Reuters witness said. Its epicentre was 123 km (76 miles) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan, at a depth of 33 km (21 miles). Widespread, hazardous tsunami waves were possible, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said.   

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