Mexico Rocked By Its Biggest Earthquake in a Century

Mexico Rocked By Its Biggest Earthquake in a Century

Mexico Rocked By Its Biggest Earthquake in a Century

One of the most powerful earthquakes to ever hit Mexico killed at least 32 people late Thursday night and crippled hundreds of buildings. It hit off the coast of southern Mexico, toppling houses in Chiapas state, causing buildings to sway violently as far away as the country's distant capital and setting off a tsunami warning."It was a large-scale natural disaster", Mr Pena Nieto said. More than five-thousand homes were completely destroyed in Mexico city alone and since the 8.1 magnitude quake struck, there have been more than 300 aftershocks felt.

The most powerful quake to strike in around 100 years saw with tremors reported from Mexico City to San Salvador to the south.

Mexico's civil defense chief says the death toll from the quake that hit off southern Mexico has risen to at least 15. Smaller tsunami waves were observed on the coast or measured by ocean gauges in several other places. President Enrique Peña Nieto said at least 200 people have been injured. In 1985, a magnitude 8.0 quake struck the capital, killing thousands of people and damaging thousands of buildings.

The tremors were so severe that people in Mexico City, over 500 miles away, fled shaking buildings in their pajamas.

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Waves as high as 9.8 feet above tide level were possible along some of Mexico's coast.

Juchitan, in the state of Oaxaca, was the worst-hit city. The city was devastated, and streets were filled with debris. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the magnitude at 8.1, but other institutions rated it between 8.2 and 8.4.

Chiapas Governor, Manuel Velasco, said two women died on San Cristobal when a house and a wall collapsed.

Mexico's army, marines and federal police have been deployed to respond to the crisis, but relief efforts will be complicated by Hurricane Katia and heavy rains could also contribute to water-borne illnesses, warned one aid agency.

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