MEXICO CITY (AP) – A massive earthquake hit off the coast of southern Mexico late Thursday night, causing buildings to sway violently and people to flee to the streets in panic as far away as the capital city.
The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 8.0 and its epicenter was 165 kilometers (102 miles) west of Tapachula in southern Chiapas state not far from Guatemala. It had a depth of 35 kilometers (22 miles).
The U.S. Tsunami Warning System says widespread hazardous tsunami waves are possible on the Pacific coasts of several Central American countries. It said waves were possible within the next three hours for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Ecuador. There was no tsunami threat for the U.S. West Coast.
The quake was so powerful that frightened residents in Mexico’s distant capital city fled apartment buildings, often in their pajamas, and gathered in groups in the street. Sections of Mexico City were without electricity.
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