At least 32 people are reported dead in Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco after the 8.4-magnitude earthquake that struck last night at 11:49pm and continued for a minute and a half.
Details remain sketchy this morning but Oaxaca Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa said 17 people died in Juchitán in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Other fatalities were in Niltepec, Ixtaltepec, Xadani and Huamelula, he said, bringing the preliminary total to 23.
He said most of the damage appeared to have been in the isthmus region, particularly Juchitán.
Local media were reporting that homes collapsed in the town, leaving residents buried in the debris, and the municipal headquarters were severely damaged. A hotel collapsed in Matías Romero, another town in the isthmus.
Chiapas officials reported seven deaths, three of them when a house collapsed in San Cristóbal de las Casas. Two people died in Villa Flores, one in Pijijiapán and another in Jiquipilas.
Two more people are reported dead in Tabasco.
At least 80 people have been hospitalized in the Isthmus region of Oaxaca with injuries sustained during the quake, which is being described as the strongest ever recorded in Mexico.
Its epicenter was off the coast of Chiapas, said the United States Geological Survey. It was initially measured at 8.1 on the Richter scale but the magnitude was later set at 8.4.
As of 3:00am, at least 65 aftershocks, ranging from 5.7 to 6.1, were recorded after.
A tsunami warning quickly followed the earthquake, although waves were forecast to be under four meters in height. People living near the beach in Oaxaca were ordered to leave their homes and find shelter on higher ground.