Mexico natural disaster: Rescue efforts continue as death toll rises

Mexico Earthquake

The death toll from the massive natural disaster that struck Mexico on Thursday night has risen to at least 90, with emergency services continuing their relief efforts.

Mexico's interior ministry reported 15 deaths in the state of Chiapas, and four in the state of Tabasco on Saturday, according to Reuters.

The toll included 36 dead in Juchitan, located on the narrow waist of Oaxaca known as the Isthmus, where a hospital and about half the city hall also collapsed into rubble. But they warned that those figures remain preliminary.

The epicenter of the quake, which hit late Thursday, was in the Pacific Ocean, about 100 kilometers off the town of Tonala in Chiapas.

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

Just one day later, Hurricane Katia hit land north of Tecolutla in Veracruz state, pelting the region with intense rains and maximum sustained winds of 120km/h. Throughout Friday, the region was shaken with scores of aftershocks. Some were newly homeless, while others feared further aftershocks could topple their cracked adobe dwellings. The governor of neighboring Tabasco state said two children had died, bringing the death toll to six. "It's about 70 miles offshore, but it's not an unheard of quake", Randy Baldwin, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Information Center, told NBC News.

Some people have continued to sleep outside, fearful of more collapses.

President Tran Dai Quang, on October 10, sent a message of sympathy to his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto, over serious human and economic losses caused by the strong quake on September 7. The other, an infant on a respirator, died after the quake triggered a power outage.

Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, the state nearest the epicentre, said his house "moved like chewing gum".

President Buhari said that Nigerians sympathised with Mexico and are praying for the repose of the souls of the departed and the quick recovery of the injured.



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