Biggest Earthquake in a Century Strikes Mexico; Hurricane Near

Map of the effects of the Mexico earthquake near Chiapas // Map by the U.S. Geological Survey

The most powerful earthquake in a century struck Mexico offshore near Chiapas late Thursday.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the earthquake measured 8.1 in magnitude, with severe effects felt as far away as San Mateo del Mar and Colonia Juarez. Mexico City, Guatemala City, Puebla and San Salvador were also affected.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System reports that tsunami waves have been observed, and that waves reaching more than three meters above the tide level are possible along some coasts of Mexico.

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According to the New York Times, the earthquake killed at least 32 people and leveled some areas close to the earthquakes epicenter, particularly in Chiapas and Oaxaca. At least one person also died in Guatemala. Mexico City did not see extensive damage to its infrastructure, although residents were forced to flee into the streets Thursday night and the earthquake did rock the citys Angel of Independence monument.

CBS News reports that the country has also experienced several aftershocks, all above a 5 on the Richter Scale.

Chiapas, the area hardest-hit by the earthquake, is home to several popular tourist attractions. These include the Mayan ruins in Palenque and Yaxchilan, the Aluxes Ecoparque, and natural attractions like the Cascada de Roberto Barrios and the Canon del Sumidero.

As the country deals with the aftereffects of the earthquake, Mexico is also bracing for the arrival of Hurricane Katia, which is expected to make landfall in an area ranging from Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde, somewhat to the north of the earthquakes epicenter, on the opposite coast.

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