Mexico earthquake death toll rises to 61

The death toll following Mexico’s strongest earthquake in a century has risen to at least 61 as a huge rescue operation in the south of the country continues efforts to free people trapped beneath the rubble.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said that at least 200 people were injured in the worst hit states of Tabasco, Oaxaca and Chiapas after the 8.1-magnitude quake hit.

#Mexico: 61 people confirmed dead after strong earthquake so far. h/t WorldonAlert pic.twitter.com/9M6i5mEm69— 🇺🇸Patriot 24/7🇺🇸 (@TrumpTrain45Pac) 8 September 2017

The epicentre was roughly 87 km off the southern coast of Mexico, where an enormous slab of rock, known as the Cocos tectonic plate, is driving towards the coast at a rate of 75mm per year.

The earthquake caused billions of dollars worth of damage, and with the category 1 hurricane Katia bearing down on the central American state, more difficulties may lie ahead.

Local government building in Juchitan, Oaxaca, destroyed by 8.2 earthquake. Before and after photos. cgtnamerica pic.twitter.com/mZ6HVqkE9i— Franc Contreras (FrancMex) 8 September 2017

One of the worst affected towns was Juchitán, in Oaxaca, where 17 people were killed and the town hall and other buildings were reduced to rubble.

President Nieto, who visited Juchitán on Friday declared a day of mourning, and said that flags would fly at half mast out of respect for the dead.

Collapsed building in Juchitan de Zaragoza, state of Oaxaca, after an 8.2 earthquake that hit Mexico’s Pacific coast overnight. #AFP pic.twitter.com/LMtJG773AM— AFPMexico (@AFPMexico) 8 September 2017
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