The epicenter of devastating 8.1 earthquake that hit Mexico was in the Pacific Ocean about 74 miles or 120 km from the Pacific coast. Power of this one was felt all the way to Guatemala City and Mexico City that is about 600 miles, almost 1,000 kilometers away from it. Since it had a depth of 43 miles or about 70 km, it means that it was pretty shallow which results in more intense shaking.
Unfortunately, 16 people lost their lives according to Luis Felipe Puente, the country’s national coordinator for emergency management, “10 died in Oaxaca state, four in Chiapas state and two in Tabasco state.”
The quake that hit at 12:49 a.m. ET Friday was the strongest one that has been recorded in last 100 years for Mexico. Most people were sleeping at that moment, and we can witness the pictures of people still in their pajamas and bathrobes that quickly fled to the streets.
As Oaxaca and Chiapas states were closest to the epicenter, they have suffered most. Many homes are damaged and even completely collapsed, and according to reports, it seems that “four people may be trapped inside a collapsed hotel” Amado Bohorquez, Oaxaca Civil Protection Director stated for CNN.
This earthquake also caused a tsunami, and it is possible that waves taller than 10 feet might reach Mexico. Ecuador, New Zealand, and Vanuatu could be hit by 3-foot waves, clearly speaking about the strength of this disaster. Power outages hit about 1.8 million homes, but almost 75% of the grid returned. There are areas without water and estimations suggest everything will be normalized in 36-48 hours.
Aftershocks that follow this powerful quakes are nothing unusual, and United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported about at least five that were above 5.0 magnitude.
One of many that were awoken by serious shaking was Gonzalo Segundo. He said: “I was already in bed. I was in my place so we were expecting to have a tranquil night but suddenly … everything breaks apart, glasses, furniture and everything.”