9 September 2017
By Justice Nwafor
Death toll from the 8.1-magnitude earthquake which rocked the southern part of Mexico on Thursday has risen to 60.
The Associated Press, AP, quoted Mexico’s civil defense agency as saying that the death toll rose after 45 people were confirmed dead in the southern state of Oaxaca, 12 people in Chiapas and three others in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco.
ABC News quotes a California based non-profit organization, Direct Relief as saying that the small town of Juchitan in Oaxaca state “was completely levelled”.
The quake has “affected such a wide region” that officials are still struggling to mobilize their staff.
The senior programme manager of the organization, Eduardo Mendoza, revealed that many Mexicans could be in need of water after public utilities were damaged and that many in the affected area live in vulnerable adobe cinder block homes, including some who have chronic illnesses.
“Many of them are running out of their homes or it collapses and they can’t get their medicine that they need,” he said. “There’s a lot of diabetics”.
“Rain has been an issue,” Mendoza said. “Not only are we facing the massive earthquake, but Hurricane Katia is hitting tonight or tomorrow.”
“You’re going to have mudslides and different debris flows,” he continued. “It could affect so many people.”
Also, the country’s President, Enrique Pena Nieto, has described the quake as the strongest the country has seen in a century. The U.S. Geological Survey measured it at 8.1 magnitude, though initial reports said 8.2.
Pena Nieto said in a series of tweets on Friday that more than 200 people had been injured and more than 260 aftershocks had hit the country since the initial quake, the most powerful of which was measured at magnitude 6.1.