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USGS / Via

A major earthquake struck of the coast of southern Mexico late Thursday night, causing destruction and fears of deaths and tsunamis.

According to the US Geological Survey, the 8.1 temblor struck off the coast of the state of Chiapas, at a depth of about 20 miles. The epicenter of the quake, which hit shortly before midnight, was located about 102 miles west of the city of Tapachula.

The USGS reported that significant casualties and economic loss were likely as a result of the quake.

The earthquake was widely felt across the region, including in Mexico City, where journalists reported power outages. Images from Mexico City also appeared to capture the moment the shaking took place, showing buildings and other structures swaying violently.

Images from Mexico City also showed people gathering in the street following the quake.

People gather on a street after an earthquake hit Mexico City late Thursday.

Claudia Daut / Reuters

Photos from Chiapas, which is closer to the epicenter, appeared to show significant damage to buildings. And shortly after the quake, the governor of Chiapas announced on Twitter that schools would be closed Friday until they could be inspected.

In the city of Oaxaca, about 280 miles south of Mexico City, a photo shared by the civil protection agency appeared to show a collapsed hotel.

Images from Guatemala also appeared to show damage from the quake.

Following the quake, hazardous tsunami waves more than 9 feet high were possible along the coast of Mexico, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Tsunami waves higher than 3 feet were possible in Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, American Samoa, Fiji, and other places across the Pacific.

Mexican officials warned of tsunami waves higher than 13 feet.

However, NOAA reported that the Pacific coast of the United States, British Columbia, and Alaska were not facing the threat of a tsunami from the earthquake.

A a series of smaller quakes, including one magnitude 5.7, struck the same region in the minutes following the larger temblor.

This is a developing story. Check back later and follow @BuzzFeedNews on Twitter for updates.

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