Tsunami warning follows major quake in Mexico
A 7.7-magnitude earthquake off the southwestern coast of Mexico in Michoacan state on Monday has prompted tsunami warnings and caused at least one death, according to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The powerful earthquake’s epicenter occurred in a sparsely populated region of Michoacan state, very near the coastline. In nearby Colima, around 100km from epicenter, very strong shaking capable of “moderate” damage was reported, per USGS data.
In Mexico City, roughly 500 km away, “light to moderate” shaking was reported, which is capable of “very light” damage, especially to vulnerable structures. There are no known casualties or damage yet recorded in Mexico City, according to the city’s mayor, Claudia Sheinbaum.
Local news channels reported that firefighters closed some buildings in Mexico City to the public due to concerns of collapse.
One person lost his life in a shopping center in Manzanillo in the western state of Colima after a fence fell, President López Obrador said on social media, citing José Rafael Ojeda Durán, Secretary of the Navy.
Mexico’s Civil Protection Coordinator Laura Velazquez also confirmed the death in a press conference on Monday afternoon.
The quake’s magnitude was initially reported by the US Geological Survey (USGS) as 7.6. Mexico’s national seismological agency later updated the magnitude to 7.7 in a press conference on Monday.
According to USGS, the quake struck about 37 kilometers south east of the city of Aquila, with a depth of about 15.1 kilometers.
Immediately after the quake, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said that waves reaching up to 3 meters could hit Mexico. Initial tsunami waves have likely already occurred in coastal locations such as Manzanillo and Acapulco, and could strike tourist hotspot Puerto Vallarta as well.
Tsunami waves less than 0.3 meters could also occur along the Pacific coasts of Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Peru, according to the organization.
The news came on the fifth anniversary of the 2017 earthquake that killed 216 people in Mexico City.
The epicenter of that 7.1-magnitude earthquake was 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles (55 km) south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state, the USGS reported at the time.