A magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck off Mexico’s southwestern coast Thursday night, killing dozens of people and leveling buildings in coastal areas.

Key points:

  • The quake was felt in Mexico City, about 450 miles from the epicenter. The coastal states of Oaxaca and Chiapas suffered the most, with the Associated Press reporting that at least 45 people were killed in Oaxaca while at least 12 died in Chiapas.
  • Schools in Mexico City and a number of Mexican states were closed Friday to inspect for damage, but for the most part, government offices, including offices of the Instituto Nacional de Migración, remained open.
  • The U.S. State Department asked Americans in Mexico to “contact loved ones directly and/or update social media to let them know your status” The British Embassy, meanwhile, closed Friday to inspect for damage.

BAL Analysis: Companies with personnel in Mexico may wish to account for all their employees to ensure their safety. Immigration processing is expected to continue as normal, as most government offices remained open Friday. Traveling by road in Oaxaca, Chiapas and other areas that suffered heavy damage may be particularly dangerous at this time because of the possibility of landslides. Those who are traveling in areas hit hard by the quake should anticipate delays.