M8.1 quake kills at least 61 in Mexico

People gather on a street after an earthquake hit Mexico City Mexico late

People gather on a street after an earthquake hit Mexico City Mexico late

The death toll from a powerful quake measuring 8.2 on the Richter scale that struck off Mexico's southern coast late Thursday has risen to 32, an official said Friday.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that potentially hazardous tsunami waves were possible along some coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Ecuador.

Dozens of people are dead in Mexico after the most powerful natural disaster to hit the country in 100 years, officials said Friday.

While there were no initial reports of major damage in Mexico City this time, the death toll jumped to at least 26 people in southern states.

The quake was felt in the capital, Mexico City, where tremors were reported to have lasted up to a minute.

The worst-hit city is Juchitan, in the southern state of Oaxaca, where at least 36 bodies were pulled from ruins, and a large number of buildings collapsed, including the city's town hall.

The epicentre was 74 miles (119 km) into the Pacific Ocean, approximately 600 miles southeast of Mexico City, at a depth of 43 miles. It also triggered a tsunami warning and the evacuation of thousands of people in coastal communities in Chiapas.

Another 200 people were injured, President Enrique Peña Nieto said, as he declared a national day of mourning, BBC reported. Toppling hundreds of buildings and sending panicked people fleeing into the streets in the middle of the night.

The USGS says there have been more than thirty aftershocks, ranging from 4.2 to 5.7 in magnitude.

The quake claimed at least one life in Guatemala, The New York Times reported.

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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