World America 09 Sep 2017 32 dead as strongest ...

32 dead as strongest quake in 100 years hits Mexico

AP
Published Sep 9, 2017, 2:35 am IST
Updated Sep 9, 2017, 2:44 am IST
Mexico’s President said it was strongest quake in a century to strike the country.
A collapsed building in Oaxaca, Mexico, in the aftermath of the earthquake. (Photo: via web)
 A collapsed building in Oaxaca, Mexico, in the aftermath of the earthquake. (Photo: via web)

One of the most powerful earthquakes to strike Mexico has hit off its southern Pacific coast, killing at least 32 people, toppling houses, government offices and businesses while sending panicked people into the streets.

Mexico’s President said it was strongest quake in a century to strike the country. The US Geological Survey said the earthquake hit off Chiapas state near the Guatemalan border with a magnitude of 8.1, slightly stronger than the magnitude 8 quake of 1985 that killed thousands and devastated large parts of Mexico City.

 

Oaxaca state governor Alejandro Murat told local news that at least 23 people had died in his coastal state. Civil defence officials said at least seven died in Chiapas and two others in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

Hundreds of buildings collapsed or were damaged, power was cut at least briefly to more than 1.8 million people and authorities closed schools on Friday in at least 11 states to check them for safety.

“The house moved like chewing gum and the light and internet went out momentarily,” said Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near the Chiapas state city of San Cristobal de las Casas.

 

The US Geological Survey recorded at least 20 aftershocks of magnitude 4.0 or greater within five hours after the main shake, and President Enrique Peña Nieto warned a major aftershock as large as magnitude 7.2 could occur.

As beds banged against walls, people still wearing pajamas fled into the streets, gathering in frightened groups. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said waves of 3.3 feet above the tide level were measured off Salina Cruz, Mexico. 

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