Home Emergency Management News Biggest Earthquake to Strike Mexico in a Century Kills at Least 16
Biggest Earthquake to Strike Mexico in a Century Kills at Least 16

Biggest Earthquake to Strike Mexico in a Century Kills at Least 16

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest

The biggest earthquake in a century struck Mexico’s southwestern coast late Thursday night. The quake killed at least 16 persons and destroyed many homes and office buildings.

The magnitude-8.1- earthquake was felt as far as away as Mexico City and Guatemala City, Guatemala’s capital. The quake’s epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean, some 600 miles southeast of Mexico City and 74 miles off the Pacific coast.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said the quake was the strongest Mexico has experienced in 100 years. He said Mexico’s army, marines and Federal Police were being mobilized to respond, CNN reported.

Mexico’s National Seismological Service noted that the area has seen at least six other quakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater since 1900. Three of those earthquakes occurred within a nerve-wracking nine-month span in 1902-1903.

16 Deaths Reported in Three Mexican States

“Power was cut at least briefly to more than 1.8 million people and Mexican authorities closed schools Friday in at least 11 states to check them for safety,” the Associated Press reported.

Luis Felipe Puente, the country’s national coordinator for emergency management, told CNN that 10 people died in Oaxaca state, four in Chiapas state and two in Tabasco state.

Four people may be trapped inside a collapsed hotel in Oaxaca, Oaxaca Civil Protection Director Amado Bohorquez told CNN.

Chiapas Governor Manuel Velasco called on people to get out of their homes as a safety precaution. He said three people died in the town of San Cristobal, including two women who perished when the wall of a house collapsed on them.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said the earthquake was slightly stronger than the magnitude 8 quake of 1985 that killed thousands and devastated large parts of Mexico City, the AP said.

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The USGS pager system issued a red alert due to the severity of the quake. “High casualties and extensive damage are probable and the disaster is likely widespread. Past red alerts have required a national or international response,” it said.

Three Major Hurricanes Will Hamper International Relief Efforts in Mexico

But any international response will be hampered, and possibly delayed, by the three powerful Atlantic hurricanes now making their way across the Caribbean. Category 5 Hurricane Irma, the most powerful of the three storms, is expected to strike south Florida on Sunday.

Irma has already done considerable damage in Barbuda, Puerto Rico and elsewhere in the Leeward Islands.



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