Mexico natural disaster death toll 61 as rescue efforts begin

Mexico natural disaster death toll 61 as rescue efforts begin

Mexico natural disaster death toll 61 as rescue efforts begin

A powerful 8.1-magnitude natural disaster struck off the southern coast of Mexico early Friday, killing at least five people and prompting warnings it could trigger tsunami waves up to 10 feet high. 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 quake", Mr Pena Nieto said.

More than 600 aftershocks have been recorded since the quake struck off the Mexico's southern Pacific coast just before midnight on Thursday local time.

The quake triggered tsunami waves as high as 3.3 feet at the port of Salina Cruz in Oaxaca, according to the U.S. National Weather Service's Pacific Tsunami Warning.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who said the quake was 8.2 in magnitude, called the quake the strongest the country has seen in a century. The Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Tabasco confirmed a number of deaths in their regions.

Waves over 3 m are said to be expected for parts of the Mexican coast, while waves between 0.3 and 1 m could hit the Cook Islands, Ecuador, Fiji, rench Polynesia, Guatemala and Kiribati. The quake's magnitude was similar to the 1985 tremor that struck central Mexico and killed several thousand people.

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The US Geological Survey (USGS) PAGER system, which predicts economic and human loss after earthquakes has reported multiple aftershocks, some measuring over 5 in magnitude and has issued a red alert.

Officials warned of possible tsunami waves of up to 10 feet high, according to NBC News.

Four people were reported killed in Chiapas, while two children died in Tabasco state.

'Homes, schools and hospitals have been damaged, ' state governor Manuel Velasco said. Toppling hundreds of buildings and sending panicked people fleeing into the streets in the middle of the night.

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