A rattled Mexico starts to pick up the pieces after deadly quake

Posted September 11, 2017

The death toll from the massive natural disaster that struck Mexico on Thursday night has risen to at least 90 after emergency services in the southern state of Oaxaca said late on Saturday there had been 71 confirmed fatalities in the state alone.

Thursday morning while most people were sleeping, the 8.1 magnitude quake was registered off of Mexico's Southern Coast just as heavy rains from hurricane Katia lashed the East.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said Friday evening in a televised address that 61 people were killed - 45 in Oaxaca state, 12 in Chiapas and 4 in Tabasco - and he declared three days of national mourning. More than 1,000 homes were destroyed in Chiapas and another 5,000 were damaged. Hardest-hit was Juchitan, where a third of the city's homes collapsed or were uninhabitable.

As Mexican authorities rushed supplies and help to the regions most battered by the quake, Hurricane Katia struck the east coast of Mexico early Saturday as a Category 1 storm.

The worst-hit city appeared to be Juchitan, on the narrow waist of Oaxaca known as the Isthmus. But the actual death toll could be over 80, according to figures reported by state officials.

State spokesman Alfonso Martinez spoke by phone as he walked through the streets on Friday and said entire buildings had crumbled onto the sidewalks, reduced to scraps of bricks, adobes and wooden roof beams.

Massive Earthquake Rocks Mexico as the Country Prepares for Hurricane Katia on Gulf Coast

More than 200 people were injured across Mexico, officials said.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday commiserated with the President of Mexico, Enrique Pina Nieto, over the devastating quake that claimed the lives of 65 people in that country. The U.S. Geological Survey says that the quake had a magnitude of 8.1, while Mexico's president says it was 8.2.

The hurricane quickly lost strength after hitting land and was downgraded to a tropical storm. "We have reports of some damage and the death of one person, even though we still don't have exact details", Mr Morales said. Some were newly homeless, while others feared further aftershocks could topple their cracked adobe dwellings.

It brought with it intense rain, as well as winds of up to 75mph (120kph).

Hurricane Katia in the Gulf of Mexico is stationary about 190 miles (310 kilometers) north-northeast of Veracruz and forecasters didn't expect much movement overnight.

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