Mexico Earthquake Kills at Least 61 and is Felt by 50m People Across Country
Officials in Mexico are scrambling to respond to a 8.1 magnitude earthquake off the country’s southern coast that has killed at least 61 people and triggered tremors across the region, according to The Independent.
The most powerful earthquake to strike in around 100 years saw with tremors reported from Mexico City to San Salvador to the south.
Evacuations, massive damage to infrastructure, and alerts were triggered as far away as south-east Asia.
The epicentre was 74 miles (119 km) into the Pacific Ocean, approximately 600 miles southeast of Mexico City, at a depth of 43 miles.
Jana Pursely, a geophysicist at the US Geological Survey, told CNN that the quake was relatively shallow, which resulted in more “intense shaking”.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said between the initial quake and aftershocks at least 50 million people of the country’s 120 million population felt it.
It hit as most residents were sound asleep around midnight on Thursday night, forcing many out into the streets in their nightclothes, uncertain of where to go as everything around them appeared to be on the brink of collapse.
Mr Pena Nieto said on Friday evening in a televised address that at least 61 people were killed - 45 in Oaxaca state, 12 in Chiapas and 4 in Tabasco - and he declared three days of national mourning.
The worst-hit city was Juchitan, on the narrow waist of Oaxaca known as the Isthmus, where 36 quake victims died.
About half of Juchitan's city hall collapsed in a pile of rubble and streets were littered with the debris of ruined houses. A hospital also collapsed, Mr Pena Nieto said after touring the city and meeting with residents. The patients were relocated to other facilities.
There are reports of at least four people being trapped in a hotel that was damaged in the earthquake as well.