While the Florida worries about Hurricane Irma, its close neighbor #Mexico has its own problems. Shortly before midnight Thursday, a magnitude 8.4 #earthquake struck off the coast with its epicenter 102 miles west of Tapachula in Chiapas State, close to Guatemala. There are currently calls for mass evacuations as well as #Tsunami Warnings throughout the region. News reports are quoting the magnitude of the earthquake as being anything between 8.0 and 8.4, but it has since been updated to magnitude 8.4. It has been reported by a seismological authority in Mexico that a series of magnitude 6 aftershocks have already occurred.

According to live reports from News24, at the time of writing, at least five people are dead, including two children.

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It is considered to be the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico since 1985.

Tsunami warnings in place

The Pacific tsunami warning center is predicting up to 10 foot high waves following the earthquake. However, the cities of Huatulco, Puerto Madero, and Salina Cruz have recorded initial waves of between .9 and 2 feet above tide level. El Salvador, the Cook Islands, Ecuador, Fiji, Guatemala, French Polynesia and Kiribati are predicted to see waves of between .9 and 3 feet, while locations as far away as Japan, Vietnam and Australia are likely to be hit by .9 foot waves. Meanwhile, the warning center says a potential tsunami threat to Hawaii is still under evaluation.

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Death toll from earthquake currently at five

According to Tabasco Governor Arturo Nunez, one child died in Tabasco State after a wall collapsed and a baby passed away in a children’s hospital when the electricity went down, cutting off the infant’s ventilator. Three deaths have been confirmed in San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas State following the quake, according to the governor.

Currently, civil protection officials in Mexico are still checking the damage caused in Chiapas. Manuel Velasco, the state’s governor, said roofs of homes had collapsed and a shopping center had been destroyed in San Cristobal. Velasco said hospitals have lost power and homes and schools have also been affected.

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Mexico City shook during the quake

However, even Mexico City, 650 miles away from the area, was shaken up last night. Many residents fled their homes in apartment buildings, huddling together in the streets. According to authorities, buildings in the city swayed fairly strongly for over one minute at around midnight. While some areas of the city were not affected, other neighborhoods lost electricity after the earthquake.

The Guardian quotes seismologist Lucy Jones with the U.S. Geological Survey as saying an earthquake like this was to be expected. She referred to the area off Mexico’s western coast as being a subduction zone, where the Pacific Plate moves under the Mexican peninsula.