Rescue efforts continue as Mexico quake death toll reaches 61

Geneva Matthews
September 11, 2017

The death toll from Thursday's 8.1-magnitude quake off the coast of southern Mexico rose to 61 Saturday as emergency responders worked to clear debris, restore power and provide housing for thousands of displaced people in one of the country's poorest and most remote regions.

Authorities say that a hotel in Oaxaca has collapsed, but no one has been reported dead.

Emergency services in the southern state of Oaxaca confirmed that 71 people were killed in the state alone.

Nieto made the declaration after visiting the town of Juchitán late Friday, where the quake hit hardest.

The quake was stronger than a devastating 1985 temblor that flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands.

The huge quake struck at 23:50 local time on Thursday (04:50 GMT Friday), shaking buildings and causing panic hundreds of miles away in the capital, Mexico City.

Emergency workers in Mexico are scrambling to respond to twin crises after the country was hammered by the strongest natural disaster in more than 30 years followed by tropical storm Katia.

Authorities said waves of up to 40 centimetres were recorded on the far-flung Chatham Islands, with 25 centimetre surges on the New Zealand coast, some 15 hours after the quake.

The country has been dealing with twin national emergencies this week: at least a further 65 people had already been killed in an quake, the strongest in decades. The other, an infant on a respirator, died after the quake triggered a power outage.

Mexican officials ordered schools to remain closed Friday in 11 states, including Mexico City, so they could inspect for structural damage.

Israel will send aid to earthquake-hit Mexico in the coming days, coinciding with a previously planned visit to the North American country by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday. Smaller tsunami waves were observed on the coast or measured by ocean gauges in several other places.

"The house moved like chewing gum and the light and internet went out momentarily", Rodrigo Soberanes, a resident of San Cristobal de las Casas in the Chiapas, told the AP.

He advised people to check their homes and offices for damage and gas leaks. People were camping and sleeping outside out of fear of more aftershocks and damage.

The epicenter of the quake hit on Thursday night in the southern state of Chiapas, one of Mexico's poorest regions.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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