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Mexico Earthquake

The death toll from Mexico's powerful earthquake has risen to 90


Updated September 09, 2017 01:21 PM EDT

The death toll from the powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico on Thursday has risen to 90, according to The Associated Press.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said the state of Oaxaca was the hardest-hit area. At least 36 people died there and a third of the city's homes collapsed or were uninhabitable.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was slightly stronger than Mexico's strongest in the past century.

Updated September 08, 2017 08:16 AM EDT

The most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in over a century killed at least 32 people on Thursday.

The earthquake hit states on Mexico's southern coast. Twenty-three people were killed in the state of Oaxaca, seven died in Chiapas state and two died in Tabasco, according to CNN.

Nearly 50 million people across Mexico felt the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 8.2, according to its government reported.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that the quake was the strongest earthquake Mexico has experienced in over 100 years.

The president ordered an immediate assessment of the damage nationwide.

“We are assessing the damage, which will probably take hours, if not days,” Peña Nieto said at a press conference. But the population is safe overall. There should not be a major sense of panic."

Rescue efforts in Mexico

Footage from Foro TV shows rescue efforts in Mexico City after the quake.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Friday said a major earthquake off his nation’s southern coast is the largest to strike there in a century.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) reported the earthquake’s magnitude at 8.1, but Pena Nieto quoted local calculations calling it an 8.2.

The earthquake killed at least five people, toppling houses and at least one hotel as electricity disappeared and people fled into the streets in panic.

Officials said the death toll could rise as they assess the natural disaster’s damage, and the Mexican government on Friday closed schools in at least 11 states to check them for safety.

Some Twitter users on Friday voiced alarm at the earthquake, which the USGS said struck about 11:49 p.m. local time.

The USGS reported that the earthquake’s epicenter was 102 miles west of Tapachula in Chiapas, a Mexican state which is close to Guatemala.

The phenomenon’s depth was also 43.3 miles, and it caused buildings to sway in Mexico City more than 650 miles away.

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

The angel of independence moving as the earthquake was felt in Mexico City

The Angel of Independence could be seen shaking. Credit: Twitter/Kevin El Oso

Chiapas Gov. Manuel Velasco said that three people were killed in San Cristobal, including two women who died when a house and a wall collapsed.

“There is damage to hospitals that have lost energy,” he said. “Homes, schools and hospitals have been damaged.”

Tabasco Gov. Arturo Nunez said that two children had died in his Gulf Coast state, with one killed when a wall collapsed.

Nunez added that the other victim was a baby who died in a children’s hospital that lost electricity, shutting down its ventilator.

Pena Nieto said that 1 million customers initially lost electricity in the aftermath of the earthquake, but it has since been restored to 800,000 people.

Major traffic after earthquake in Mexico

Major traffic jams in Mexico City after the earthquake hit. Credit: Twitter/husseinforzan

Thursday’s earthquake came as Mexico was steeling itself for another natural disaster on the other side of the country.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that Hurricane Katia, a Category 2 storm, is likely to hit the Mexican state of Veracruz early Saturday, bringing with it life-threatening floods.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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