The quake occurred at 10:29 a.m. local time (11:29 a.m. ET), with the epicenter 6.8 miles southwest of Santa María Zapotitlán in the state of Oaxaca, near El Coyul.
At least five people were killed, said the coordinator of the Mexican National Civil Protection Service.
Oaxaca state government Alejandro Murat said a 22-year-old woman and a man were among the dead.
Oaxacan Health Services also reported earthquake damage to general hospitals in Pochutla, Puerto Escondido and Pinotepa Nacional, as well as several community hospitals in other areas. According to Murat, two hospitals with disabilities dealt with patients with coronavirus.
“We check [damages] because this hospital also provides Covid cases on the coast of Oaxacan, “he said in a radio interview with Radio Fórmula. The severity of the damage is not stated.
The National Civil Protection Service reported the first death after the structure collapsed after an earthquake, which occurred just east of the popular tourist destination of Huatulco.
Authorities also reported a power outage in the state capital and damage to the outside of a hospital in Oaxaca.
The quake could be felt all the way to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In the capital, Mexico City, about 190 miles north of the epicenter, a shudder was heard and sirens were heard crying.
Tsunami waves of 0.68 meters (2.2 ft) were observed in Acapulco and 0.71 meters (2.3 ft) in Salina Cru. An earlier tsunami warning was revised according to the U.S. tsunami warning system predicting possible waves up to a meter (3.3 ft).
Estimates modeled by the USGS suggest that localized casualties and damage are possible, but there are likely to be fewer than 100 casualties and less than $ 100 million in damage. However, the model only includes an earthquake, not any impact of a potential tsunami on the coast.
The USGS said recent earthquakes in the area have caused secondary hazards such as tsunamis and landslides.
Earlier estimates reduced the magnitude of the quake to 7.7, but this has been revised to 7.4 (and additional revisions are possible).
Mexico is one of the most actively seismically active regions in the world and has a long history of devastating earthquakes. The earth is located on top of three large tectonic plates and their movement causes regular earthquakes and occasional volcanic eruptions.
Mexico City is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes, as its very soft and moist soil intensifies shaking and is prone to liquefaction, with dirt turning into a thick liquid when burned enough.
This fragile story has been updated with additional reporting.
CNNE’s Fidel Gutierrez in Mexico City and Clara Lopez in Atlanta contributed to the reporting. From CNC, Matt Rivers and Natalie Gallon reported from Mexico City, and Tatiana Arias and Brandon Miller from Atlanta. Emma Reynolds wrote from London.