A study by Mexico's National Seismological Service says Thursday's deadly quake matches the force of a magnitude 8.1 quake that hit the country on June 3, 1932, roughly 300 miles (500 kilometers) west of Mexico City.
Tremors were felt hundreds of miles away, and reportedly lasted for up to a minute in Mexico City.
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The quake triggered waves as high as 2.3 ft (0.7 m) in Mexico, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said. A massive quake hit off the coast of southern Mexico late Thursday night, causing buildings to sway violently and people to flee into o the streets in panic as far away as the capital city. The quake's magnitude was similar to the 1985 tremor that struck central Mexico and killed several thousand people.
At least three children are reported among the dead, including a baby who died after his life support machine lost power when a hospital suffered a power outage. Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat asked citizens in areas of risk to follow security protocol and evacuate the area around 1:30am Friday. "I almost fell over", said Luis Carlos Briceno, an architect, 31, who was visiting Mexico City. Multiple aftershocks ranged between 4.5 and 5.7 in magnitude, the US Geological Survey said.
The Foreign Office have said: "We are in touch with local authorities and stand ready to support any British people affected".
Meanwhile, U.S. forecasters said "hazardous" tsunami waves of more than nine feet above the tide level were possible along the Mexican coast. The region felt a number of strong aftershocks all through Friday.