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Rescuers dig for Mexico quake survivors as deadly storm strikes

Mexico earthquake

By the time alarmed residents felt the first shockwaves from the 8.1 magnitude quake, many had already made it onto the streets or into parks, well away from trembling and swaying buildings.

Since the 1985 quake, Mexican authorities have instituted a stricter building code and developed an alert system using sensors placed on the coasts.

The US Geological Survey put the magnitude slightly lower, at 8.1.

At least 80 people have been hospitalized in the Isthmus region of Oaxaca with injuries sustained during the quake, which is being described as the strongest ever recorded in Mexico.

President Enrique Pena Nieto who was closely overlooking the rescue operations said that the authorities are making attempts to re-establish supplies of water and food and provide medical attention to those who need it.

A worker hired by the owner of a candy factory warehouse demolishes the remaining parts of the building in central Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, after a magnitude 8.1 natural disaster struck very late Thursday.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there is a possibility of widespread and unsafe waves on the coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras and Ecuador.

The death toll from the massive quake that rocked southern Mexico has risen to at least 90, with most of the fatalities occurring in Oaxaca State.

Officials later said only four people had been injured and several dozen homes damaged.

The center's forecast said Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala could see waves of a meter or less.

Mexico's Governor for the state of Chiapas had earlier reported three fatalities in San Cristobal de las Casas.

Ignacio Chavez said his son died in the quake.

John Bellini, a geophysicist at the USGS National Earthquake Information Centre in Golden, Colorado, said Thursday's quake was the strongest in Mexico since a magnitude-8.1 quake struck the western state of Jalisco in 1932. "Homes, schools and hospitals have been damaged".

The epicenter of the quake, which hit late Thursday, was in the Pacific Ocean, about 100 kilometers off the town of Tonala in Chiapas.