Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

More fatal casualties in Mexico as shattered country faces Katia

More fatal casualties in Mexico as shattered country faces Katia

The death toll from a powerful quake that recently struck Mexico's southern coast has risen to at least 90, as rescuers race to save those still trapped in the rubble.

"With the rains it gets much more complicated because the homes were left very weak, with cracks", a human rights worker from the state of Chiapas told AP. At least 19 are reported dead in two neighboring states.

The other three deaths were in Chiapas state, in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Mexico sits atop five tectonic plates, whose movement makes it one of the most seismically active countries in the world.

A crowd had formed at Juchitan's partially collapsed town hall, a Spanish colonial building where two policemen were trapped in the rubble.

The 8.1-magnitude quake, which reached from Guatemala City to Mexico City, registered on the southern coast of the country.

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Aftershocks continued into Sunday, and scores of people were wary about returning to fragile buildings hammered by the initial tremor, sleeping in gardens, patios and in the open air. Of these regions, Tehuentepec Isthmus municipalities in Oaxaca suffered the most damage and dead with 45 of the 61 victims reported.

It was slightly stronger than the 1985 quake, the US Geological Survey (USGS) said. The region felt a number of strong aftershocks through Friday.

The quake triggered tsunami waves as high as 10 feet, the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. Smaller tsunami waves were observed on the coast or measured by ocean gauges in several other places.

Residents of the Mexican capital fled into the streets, many in their pajamas, for fear buildings would collapse. Officials said four people were killed in Chiapas, near the epicenter. "Homes, schools and hospitals have been affected".

The quake struck at 11.49pm on Thursday (4.49am GMT on Friday), and its epicentre was 102 miles (165 kilometres) west of Tapachula in Chiapas. It had a depth of 35 kilometers.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said Friday that the natural disaster, which was felt by around 50 million people nationwide, was the most powerful to hit Mexico in 100 years.

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