Race to rescue survivors from ruins of Mexico quake

Saul Bowman
September 10, 2017

The man's body was found in a collapsed passageway between city hall offices and a market in the southern city of Juchitan, the city hit hardest by Thursday night's quake.

President Enrique Peña Nieto declared yesterday three days of national mourning in honor to the victims, during a tour through Juchitán, the municipality of the state of Oaxaca with greater damages caused by the natural disaster.

In addition to the deaths in Juchitan, the quake killed nine other people in Oaxaca and 19 in neighboring states.

Large damages are also reported in 800 schools in Chiapas, 60 in Oaxaca and 75 in Mexico City.

Torrential rains pounded the villages of Veracruz, where two people were killed by a mudslide, according to Gov. Miguel Angel.

Chiapas and Oaxaca, home to about 9 million people, are two of the most impoverished areas in Mexico.

"It was a major quake in scale and magnitude, the strongest in the past 100 years", said President Enrique Pena Nieto in an address from the National Disaster Prevention Center's headquarters, where he was supervising the emergency response.

Puente said rivers that flooded in Veracruz had damaged 235 homes and affected more than 900 people.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto has confirmed that the death toll from Thursday night's 8.1 magnitude quake on the southern coast has now reached 65.

It hit off Chiapas' Pacific coast, near the Guatemalan border with a magnitude of 8.1 - equal to Mexico's strongest quake of the past century.

Scenes of mourning were repeated over and over again in Juchitan, where a third of the city's homes collapsed or were uninhabitable, President Enrique Pena Nieto said late Friday in an interview with the Televisa news network.

In the town of Juchitan, Oaxaca, hundreds of families spent the night camped in the streets, too scared to go back inside for fear of aftershocks.

The hurricane quickly lost strength after hitting land and was downgraded to a tropical storm.

These subduction zones are responsible for producing some of the biggest quakes in history, including the 2011 Fukushima disaster and the 2004 Sumatra quake that spawned a deadly tsunami.

Katia made landfall north of Tecolutla, Mexico late Friday as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 miles per hour (120 kph).

Aside from a few damaged buildings, the capital city was fine.

About half of the city hall collapsed in a pile of rubble, and streets were littered with the debris of ruined houses.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said tsunami waves had been detected but on Friday night United States time they confirmed that the "threat had now passed".

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