As Mexico digs out from quake, Hurricane Katia hits east coast

Violet Powell
September 11, 2017

Mexico was hit by the most powerful quake in a century Thursday night, leaving more than 60 people dead and hundreds of people injured.

The worst destruction appeared to be in Juchitan, in the state of Oaxaca, where 10 people were killed, according to the head of the emergency response agency, Ricardo de la Cruz.

Of this, 71 deaths were reported in the south-west state of Oaxaca.

Rescuers, soldiers of the Army and Navy continue with the work of people search in the rubble, in the Juchitan municipality, in Oaxaca, Mexico, 9 September 2017.

At least one person died when a church collapsed in San Sebastian, Guatemala, according to The Independent.

The country's east coast was also hit by tropical storm Katia. Video from the scene shows that about half the city hall collapsed in a pile of rubble and local officials said that at least 17 of the 35 dead were in Juchitan.

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An 8.1-magnitude natural disaster hit off the coast of southern Mexico, toppling houses in Chiapas state, causing buildings to sway violently as far away as the country's distant capital and setting off a tsunami warning.

President Enrique Pena Nieto who was closely overlooking the rescue operations said that the authorities are making attempts to re-establish supplies of water and food and provide medical attention to those who need it.

A powerful aftershock that hit 19 days later caused a tsunami that devastated 15 miles 25 kilometers of coastline, killing 75 people. Strong aftershocks continue to rattle the town, including a magnitude 5.2 jolt in the early morning. "It's about 70 miles offshore, but it's not an unheard of quake", Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center, told NBC News.

Puente said rivers that flooded in Veracruz had damaged 235 homes and affected more than 900 people.

The quake, which hit minutes before midnight on Thursday, toppled hundreds of buildings, triggered tsunami evacuations and sent panicked people fleeing into the streets in the middle of the night. "Homes, schools and hospitals have been affected".

The epicentre of Thursday's quake was in the Pacific Ocean, about 100km off the town of Tonala in Chiapas.

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