Death toll mounts to 61 after Mexico's deadliest quake

Death toll mounts to 61 after Mexico's deadliest quake

Mexico suffered its most powerful natural disaster in almost a century late Thursday, which left at least 32 people dead and sent violent tremors throughout the region.

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.

The other three deaths were in Chiapas state, in San Cristobal de las Casas, according to the news agency.

Emergency services are assisting with the rescues of people in collapsed buildings.

The tremor hit at about 11:49 p.m. and registered at a magnitude 8.2, according to the National Seismologic Service, making it stronger than the 8.0 quake of 1985.

The magnitude 8.1 quake hit the southern coast of the South American country but was felt as far inland as Mexico City and Guatemala City.

Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto said that at least a million people were left without electricity after the magnitude 8.1 natural disaster.

President Peña Nieto has declared a day of mourning, saying flags would fly at half mast out of respect for the dead and bereaved.

More than 1.8 million people are affected by the quake. The city was devastated, and streets were filled with debris. The quake triggered a tsunami, bringing one-meter waves to the Mexican coast.

At least one person was killed in Guatemala, its President said.

The Governor of the Mexican state of Chiapas announced the first fatalities following the most powerful quake to hit the country since 1985, striking 119km south-southwest of Tres Picos. "I almost fell over", said Luis Carlos Briceno, an architect, 31, who was visiting Mexico City.

Mexico is also facing threat from Hurricane Katia, which is expected to hit its eastern coast.

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