The toll is massive earthquake that struck off the southern coast of Mexico on Thursday night has risen to 61. President Enrique Peña Nieto said at least 200 were injured in the quake, which had a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter Scale, the strongest one to hit the region in a century. The region felt a number of strong aftershocks all through Friday.
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. Of the total, 45 deaths were reported in Oaxaca, 12 in Chiapas and four in Tabasco, the president said. The town of Juchitán in Oaxaca was one of the worst affected, with at least 17 deaths.
More than 1.8 million people are affected by the quake. Buildings were destroyed, other structures were damaged and power supply was cut briefly. Schools remained closed on Friday in at least 11 states to run safety checks.
“The power of this earthquake was devastating, but we are certain that the power of unity, the power of solidarity and the power of shared responsibility will be greater,” Pena Nieto said. He has declared three days of national mourning in the country. Flags will be flown at half mast.
The earthquake claimed at least one life in Guatemala, The New York Times reported.
Authorities had issued a tsunami warning for a huge stretch of the coastline starting in Central Mexico, all the way to Ecuador. But the warning was lifted later. Besides Mexico, EL Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras and Panama were on alert for the tidal waves.