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The Latest: Mexico city lost 17 dead in quake

September 8, 2017
Associated Press

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Latest on the Mexico earthquake (all times local):

1 p.m.

Mexico's magnitude 8.1 earthquake appears to have hit hardest in the city of Juchitan, a township of almost 100,000 people that's a center of the Zapotec culture.

The Oaxaca state government says 23 people died in the quake that hit just before midnight, and 17 of those were in Juchitan.

State spokesman Alfonso Martinez spoke by phone as he walked through the streets on Friday and said entire buildings had crumbled onto the sidewalks, reduced to scraps of bricks, adobes and wooden roof beams.

He said he saw "a very high percentage of homes damaged or destroyed," many of them built 30 to 50 years ago.

Martinez said "It's not just the roofs that have collapsed. In many cases the walls have cracked or collapsed completely."

He said it's unlikely more dead will be found in the town, but said soldiers were still digging through the rubble.

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11 a.m.

Chiapas state civil defense director Luis Manuel Moreno says seven people are known dead and about 120 people have been injured across his state, the closest to the magnitude 8.1 quake that hit off of Mexico's Pacific coast just before midnight.

At least 32 are known to have died across the region as a whole.

Many buildings in the area are constructed of thick, unreinforced masonry walls, with timber roof beams supporting clay tile roofs. That appears to have contributed to the injuries.

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10:25 a.m.

The magnitude 8.1 quake that hit Mexico overnight occurred within a seismic hotspot in the Pacific where one tectonic plate dives under another. These so-called subduction zones are responsible for producing some of the biggest quakes in history, including the 2011 Fukushima disaster and the 2004 Sumatra quake that spawned a deadly tsunami.

Scientists are studying how this latest quake happened. But a preliminary analysis indicates the quake was triggered by the sudden breaking or bending of the Cocos plate, which dives beneath Mexico. This type of process doesn't happen often in subduction zones; usually, big quakes in subduction zones occur along the boundary between the sinking slab and the overriding crust.

Seismologist Susan Hough of the U.S. Geological Survey says, "It's unusual, but it's not unheard of." She adds that "you get stresses on the seafloor and we know that can produce big earthquakes."

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9:40 a.m.

The death toll from Mexico's huge earthquake has risen to 32.

Oaxaca state Gov. Alejandro Murat told local news media Friday that at least 23 people in his state died after the magnitude 8.1 quake that hit just before midnight.

Civil defense officials say at least seven people died in the state of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala. Two others died in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.

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7:45 a.m.

The quake that struck Mexico overnight matches the force of a magnitude 8.1 quake that hit the country on June 3, 1932, roughly 300 miles (500 kilometers) west of Mexico City.

A study by Mexico's National Seismological Service says that quake is believed to have killed about 400 people, causing severe damage around the port of Manzanillo.

A powerful aftershock that hit 19 days later caused a tsunami that devastated 15 miles 25 kilometers of coastline, killing 75 people.

Both the Mexican and U.S. services say Friday night's quake matches the magnitude of the 1932 temblor. The U.S. Geological Survey puts both at 8.1 while, though the Mexican seismologists calculate them at 8.2. It's common for different agencies to arrive at slightly different calculations of quake magnitude.

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6:45 a.m.

Mexico's civil defense chief says the death toll from the earthquake that hit off southern Mexico has risen to at least 15.

Luis Felipe Puente told the Televisa network that 10 had died in Oaxaca state, three in Chiapas and two in Tabasco.

The magnitude 8.1 quake struck shortly before midnight Friday near the Guatemala border.

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5 a.m.

Authorities in Mexico say they are evacuating residents in Puerto Madero in Chiapas as a precaution due to a tsunami alert put in place after a major earthquake struck the country.

Chiapas' civil protection agency tweeted that the evacuation was underway and posted photos of residents getting off a truck and going into what appeared to be a shelter. No further details have been provided.

A tsunami warning was put in place after the earthquake hit Mexico's southern coast. The U.S. Geological Survey says that the quake had a magnitude of 8.1, while Mexico's president says it was 8.2. At least five deaths have been confirmed in Mexico, with the death toll expected to rise.

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3:50 a.m.

Authorities in Mexico say that a hotel in Oaxaca has collapsed in the major earthquake that hit the country, but no one has been reported dead.

Civil Defense photos showed the crumbling facade of the Anel hotel in Matias Romero and split in half. President Enrique Pena Nieto said no one was reported dead at the hotel.

Earlier, Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat said that some people were able to escape from the hotel and authorities were working to determine if they were any casualties or missing people.

Pena Nieto says that the magnitude of the earthquake that hit the country is 8.2, the biggest the country has seen in a century.

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2:50 a.m.

Mexico's president says that the magnitude of the earthquake that hit the country is 8.2, the biggest the country has seen in a century.

Enrique Pena Nieto confirmed that at least five people have died in the temblor. He also said that major damage has been caused and that 1 million initially had been without power following the quake, but that electricity had been restored to 800,000 of them.

He said that there have been 62 aftershocks and it's possible one as strong as 7.2 could hit.

The U.S. Geological Survey has reported that the quake had a magnitude of 8.1. 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.

2:20 a.m.

Tsunami waves have been measured off Mexico's Pacific coast after a major earthquake.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says waves of 1 meter (3.3 feet) above the tide level were measured off Salina Cruz. Smaller tsunami waves were observed on the coast or measured by ocean gauges in several other places.

The center's forecast said Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala could see waves of a meter or less.

No threat was posed to Hawaii and the western and South Pacific.

An 8.1-magnitude earthquake 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.

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2 a.m.

The death toll in the massive earthquake in Mexico has risen to at least five people, including two children in Tabasco state.

Tabasco Gov. Arturo Nunez said that one of the children died when a wall collapsed, and the other was a baby who died in a children's hospital that lost electricity, cutting off the supply to the infant's ventilator.

The other three deaths were in Chiapas state, in San Cristobal de las Casas.

An 8.1-magnitude earthquake 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.

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1:35 a.m.

The governor of the Mexican state of Chiapas says that at least three people have been killed in his region in a massive earthquake that hit off the country's coast.

Gov. Manuel Velasco told Milenio TV that the deaths occurred in San Cristobal de las Casas. He also said that the quake damaged hospitals and schools.

An 8.1-magnitude earthquake 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.

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12:15 a.m.

A powerful earthquake is shaking Mexico's capital city, causing people to flee swaying buildings and knocking out lights to part of the city.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the earthquake had a magnitude of 8.0 and its epicenter was 165 kilometers (102 miles) west of Tapachula in southern Chiapas state. It had a depth of 35 kilometers.

Even in distant Mexico City the quake was felt so strongly that frightened residents gathered in the streets in the dark, fearing buildings would collapse.

 
 

 

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