Earthquake Hits Mexico Thursday, Dozens Reported Dead

The full extent of damage is not yet known

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Earthquake Hits Mexico Thursday, Dozens Reported Dead

An earthquake rocked Mexico late Thursday night, according to news reports. Dozens of people are reported dead, and that total may rise.

As the Post notes:

A powerful 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the southern coast of Mexico late Thursday, killing at least 32 people and setting off tsunami warnings along the Pacific coast. President Enrique Peña Nieto called it the biggest quake in 100 years, even larger than the devastating 1985 temblor in Mexico City that killed thousands. He said 1 million people lost power, but electricity was soon restored for most of them. Details on damage from remote areas were not immediately clear, raising the possibility that the death toll could rise.

It was not wholly obvious which parts of the country were most stricken by the upheaval. An estimated fifty million people felt the tremors, which rocked Mexico. It is estimated to be the most powerful quake since September 1985, when a seismic event killed approximately 9,500 people around Mexico City.

According to CNN:

This one hit late Thursday, when many people were asleep. The states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, home to about 9 million people, are located closest to the earthquake’s epicenter. They are two of the most impoverished areas in Mexico, and were likely hit the hardest. Twenty-three people were killed in Oaxaca state, Gov. Alejandro Murat and the Foreign Ministry told CNN. Seven others died in Chiapas state and two died in Tabasco, local and federal officials said.

Experts reported that casualties and property damage would be extensive, including nearly two million homes without electricity after the initial aftershocks. The United States Geological Survey stated that the quake had a depth of forty-three miles. The event caused a tsunami wave about three feet high. The national security services were immediately activated.

Per the Times:

After the 1985 disaster, construction codes were reviewed and stiffened. Today, Mexico’s construction laws are considered as strict as those in the United States or Japan. After the quake hit, people in Mexico City streamed out of their homes in the dark, wearing nightclothes, standing amid apartment buildings, cafes and bars in upscale neighborhoods and dense warrens of the city’s working-class communities. In the Condesa area, neighbors watched in awe as power lines swayed alongside trees and buildings. In several neighborhoods, the power went out, though it was restored within an hour, at least in the wealthier parts of the capital.

At the time of publishing, no additional aftershocks had been reported.

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