8.1 quake rocks Mexico, deaths reported

Violet Powell
September 11, 2017

At least 61 people have died after the most powerful quake to hit Mexico in a century struck off the southern coast, toppling houses, damaging hospitals and government offices, and sparking mass evacuations. The next strongest had occurred in September 1985, when a magnitude 8.0 quake killed an estimated 9,500 people around Mexico City.

One of the most powerful earthquakes ever to strike Mexico has killed at least 32 people, toppling houses and businesses and sending panicked people into the streets more than 650 miles away.

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said the quake was 8.2 magnitude, making it the largest in the country for 100 years.

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The states of Tabasco, Oaxaca and Chiapas were the worst hit, and a rescue operation is under way to pull out people feared trapped under debris, BBC reported. Nieto has warned that aftershocks could be as strong as 7.2, and U.S.G.S. has recorded 20 aftershocks higher than 4.0, Reuters reports. The U.S. Geological Survey measured it at 8.1 magnitude. The epicentre was in the Pacific Ocean, some 600 miles (1,000 KMs) southeast of the capital and 74 miles (120 KMs) off the coast, CNN reported. With information about the impact on remote rural communities still coming in, the Associated Press reported the death toll was at least 35.

Mexico and Guatemala are waking up today to widespread damage and dozens of deaths after an natural disaster measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale hit their Pacific coastline in the early hours of this morning. Earlier, the governor of Tabasco, Arturo Nunez, said two children had died in his state. "It was a major quake in scale and magnitude, the strongest in the past 100 years", he said.

Eduardo Mendoza, the senior program manager for Direct Relief, told ABC News that the town of Juchitan in Oaxaca state "was completely leveled".

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