Magnitude-8 earthquake hits southern Mexico, felt in capital

People walk along a street in downtown Mexico City during an quake, on September 7, 2017. An earthquake of magnitude 8.0 struck southern Mexico late Thursday and was felt as far away as Mexico City, the US Geological Survey said, issuing a tsunami warning. It hit offshore 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of the town of Tres Picos in the state of Chiapas. Pic/AFP
People walk along a street in downtown Mexico City during an quake, on September 7, 2017. An earthquake of magnitude 8.0 struck southern Mexico late Thursday and was felt as far away as Mexico City, the US Geological Survey said, issuing a tsunami warning. It hit offshore 120 kilometers (75 miles) southwest of the town of Tres Picos in the state of Chiapas. Pic/AFP

A massive 8-magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of southern Mexico today, causing buildings to sway violently and people to flee into the street in panic as far away as the capital city.

The US Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.0 and its epicentre was 165 kilometres west of Tapachula in southern Chiapas state not far from Guatemala. It had a depth of 35 kilometres.

The US 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.

Even in distant Mexico City the quake was felt so strongly that frightened residents gathered in the streets in the dark, often in their pajamas, fearing that buildings would collapse.

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