61 dead after Mexico is hit by 8.1-magnitude earthquake followed by Hurricane
By: Kyle West, Xiro Xone News September 9, 2017 Updated: 4:31 AM
At least 61 people have been reported dead as authorities continue to comb through rubble after the magnitude-8.1 earthquake hit southern Mexico late Thursday.
The Interior Department reported that 428 homes were destroyed and 1,700 were damaged just in Chiapas, the state closest to the epicenter.
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto said that the magnitude of the earthquake that hit the country was 8.2, the biggest the country has seen in a century.
Pena Nieto also said that 1 million homes initially had been without power following the quake but that electricity had been restored to 800,000 of them.
Friday night, the President declared three days of mourning.
“The power of this earthquake was devastating,” Peña Nieto said, speaking from Juchitan de Zaragoa, a city in Oaxaca state where at least 36 people died. “But we are certain that the power of unity, the power of solidarity and the power of shared responsibility will be greater.”
The quake hit mainly in the west of Guatemala, in the state capital of Huehuetenango. Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second-largest city, suffered more damage to its historic center.
Twenty-four hours later, Hurricane Katia hit north of Tecolutla in Veracruz state, pelting the region with heavy rain and winds with two deaths reported so far.
More than 4,000 people evacuated parts of Veracruz as well as neighboring states.
Mexico City escaped major damage, though local media reported part of a highway bridge that was being built to a new international airport had collapsed during the earthquake.