MANILA, Philippines — Communities on the Pacific Ocean coast of 21 provinces have been placed on alert for a potentially destructive tsunami after a magnitude 8 earthquake struck off the southern coast of Mexico late on Thursday (12:49 p.m. Friday, Philippine standard time).
“An earthquake of this size has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami that can strike coastlines in the region near the epicenter within minutes to hours,” Phivolcs said, although it stressed that “no evacuation order is in effect.”
The provinces under the tsunami alert are:
- Ilocos Norte
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- Southern Leyte
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
- Davo Del Norte
- Davao Del Sur
- Davao Occidental
- Davao Oriental
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur
The quake shook buildings across the center and south of Mexico, sending people running into the streets in the capital.
Mexico’s civil protection agency said it was the strongest earthquake to hit the country since a devastating 1985 tremor that toppled buildings and killed thousands.
Power went out in some neighborhoods of Mexico City after the quake struck there just before midnight.
“I had never been anywhere where the earth moved so much. At first I laughed, but when the lights went out I didn’t know what to do. I nearly fell over,” said Luis Carlos Briceno, an architect, 31, who was visiting Mexico City.
The epicenter was 123 kilometers (76 miles) southwest of the town of Pijijiapan, at a depth of 33 km (21 miles). Widespread, hazardous tsunami waves were possible, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.