Mexico is on alert for tsunamis along its Pacific coast the region after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake hit just off the country’s southern coast a little before midnight local time, according to the US Geological Survey.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has warned that waves as high as three meters (10 feet) above the tide level could strike the coast of Mexico, and waves of up to one meter in Ecuador, El Salvador, and Guatemala.
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said the quake was 8.2 magnitude, making it the largest in the country for 100 years. It is bigger than the quake that struck Mexico in 1985, centered near the capital and resulting in around 10,000 deaths.
The epicenter of today’s quake was about 5o miles off the coast of the state of Chiapas, not far from the border with Guatemala, at a depth of just over 40 miles, which is considered relatively shallow. Tremors were felt hundreds of miles away, and reportedly lasted for up to a minute in Mexico City. Several aftershocks of between 4 and 6 magnitude have hit the region since.
The quake has killed three people Chiapas and two in the neighboring state of Tabasco, according to reports thus far.
Mexico is also currently under threat from Hurricane Katia along its eastern coast.