Earthquake in Mexico: magnitude 7.4 earthquake strikes Oaxaca

The earthquake occurred at 10:29 am local time (11:29 am ET), with an epicenter 6.8 miles southwest of Santa María Zapotitlán in the state of Oaxaca, near El Coyul.

At least five people were killed, according to the coordinator of the National Civil Protection Service of Mexico.

Oaxaca state governor Alejandro Murat said a 22-year-old woman and man were among the dead.

Oaxaca Health Services also reported earthquake damage to general hospitals in Pochutla, Puerto Escondido and Pinotepa Nacional and some community hospitals in other areas. According to Murat, two of the damaged hospitals have been dealing with coronavirus patients.

“We are verifying [damages] because this hospital also handles Covid cases on the Oaxacan coast, “he said in a radio interview with Radio Formula. The severity of the damage is not specified.

The National Civil Protection Service reported the first death after a structure collapsed after the earthquake, which occurred just east of the popular tourist destination of Huatulco.

Authorities also reported a power outage throughout the state capital and damage to the exterior of a hospital in Oaxaca.

The earthquake could be felt up to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In the capital, Mexico City, approximately 190 miles north of the epicenter, tremors were heard and sirens were heard.

A policeman stands in front of a partially collapsed building after an earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Tsunami waves of 0.68 meters (2.2 feet) were observed in Acapulco and 0.71 meters (2.3 feet) in Salina Cru. An earlier tsunami warning was revised downward, according to the United States Tsunami Warning System, forecasting possible waves of up to one meter (3.3 feet).

Damage in the state of Oaxaca is considered mild to moderate, according to the ShakeMap of the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
Debris from a building damaged by an earthquake in Oaxaca, Mexico, on Tuesday June 23.

Estimates modeled by the USGS suggest that localized casualties and damages are possible, but there are likely to be fewer than 100 deaths and less than $ 100 million in damages. However, the model only includes earthquake tremors, and no impact of possible tsunamis on the coast.

The USGS said that recent earthquakes in the area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis and landslides.

A policeman removes debris from an earthquake-damaged building in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Previous estimates put the magnitude of the earthquake at 7.7, but that has been revised to 7.4 (and additional revisions are possible).

Mexico is one of the most active seismic regions in the world and has a long history of devastating earthquakes. The country is located at the top of three large tectonic plates and its movement causes regular earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions.

In 2017, two powerful earthquakes struck the country in two weeks, knocking down buildings, cracking roads, and killing hundreds of people. One had a magnitude of 7.1 and the other a magnitude of 8.1.
Evacuations in Mexico City after the earthquake shook the capital city.

Mexico City is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because its very soft and moist soil amplifies shaking and is prone to liquefaction, in which dirt turns into a dense liquid when it is shaken enough.

This breaking story has been updated with additional reports.

Fidel Gutiérrez from CNNE in Mexico City and Clara López in Atlanta contributed reporting. CNN’s Matt Rivers and Natalie Gallon reported from Mexico City and Tatiana Arias and Brandon Miller from Atlanta. Emma Reynolds wrote from London.