nsucurrent.com February 20, 2018

Death toll rises in Mexico

10 September 2017, 12:42 | Colleen Roy

A view of damage caused in Juchitan de Zaragoza in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca by an earthquake

A view of damage caused in Juchitan de Zaragoza in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca by an earthquake

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto has confirmed that the death toll from Thursday night's 8.1 magnitude quake on the southern coast has now reached 65.

Mexican authorities said at least 60 people were confirmed dead, including many in the state of Oaxaca along the Pacific coast.

About 1,000 homes were also destroyed and 5,000 others damaged in Chiapas alone.

"It was a major quake in scale and magnitude, the strongest in the past 100 years", said President Enrique Pena Nieto in an address from the National Disaster Prevention Center's headquarters, where he was supervising the emergency response.

President Enrique Peña Nieto declared yesterday three days of national mourning in honor to the victims, during a tour through Juchitán, the municipality of the state of Oaxaca with greater damages caused by the quake.

More than five thousand houses have been damaged and many residents have been sleeping in the streets or in their cars fearing more buildings will collapse.

The quake struck at 11.49pm on Thursday (4.49am GMT on Friday), and its epicentre was 102 miles (165 kilometres) west of Tapachula in Chiapas.

"I only woke up when I heard screaming", said the 24-year-old cradling her wrapped arm.

A house knocked down by a quake is seen in Ixtaltepec Oaxaca Mexico
A house knocked down by a quake is seen in Ixtaltepec Oaxaca Mexico

"The whole city is a disaster zone right now".

Teams searching for victims in the collapsed Hotel Del Riohad, where one woman was killed, pulled four people, including two children, alive from the rubble.

He said authorities were working to "restore water and food supplies and provide medical attention to those affected".

Luis Felipe Puente, head of Mexico's national emergency services agency, said two people were killed by the hurricane, which roared ashore in Veracruz state, pelting the region with intense rains and winds.

The quake triggered tsunami warnings and some tall waves, but there was no major damage from the sea.

Earlier, tsunami waves reaching 0.7 metres above the tide level were recorded by automated sea level gauges near the resort of Huatulco in Oaxaca state.

In neighboring Guatemala, President Jimmy Morales appeared on national television to call for calm while emergency crews surveyed damage. "We have reports of some damage and the death of one person, even though we still don't have exact details", Mr Morales said.

Meanwhile, storm Katia made landfall in the east as a Category 1 hurricane and hours later was downgraded to a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 70kmh. "Avoid these areas", Pena Nieto tweeted.

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