50 million affected in Mexico Earthquake: Three days mourning declared

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A tsunami warning has been announced in the country, as well as in the neighbouring nations of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

An 8.1 magnitude quake shook Mexico and Guatemala late Thursday night, according to the United States Geological Survey.

According to Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, this was the strongest natural disaster to hit the country in 100 years with violent tremors leaving Mexican homes and buildings in ruins, and thousands seeking safety. Because of the location of the quake, tsunami waves also crashed onto the Southern Mexican coast. Aftershocks are expected in the coming hourswith Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto stating that there have been more than 60 so far.

The biggest quake in a century struck Mexico's southwestern coast late Thursday night.

The quake was felt as far away as Mexico City and Guatemala City.

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Alejandro Murat, the state governor, said 23 deaths were registered in Oaxaca, 17 of them in Juchitan. Several aftershocks of between 4 and 6 magnitude have hit the region since.

"Based on all available data Hazardous tsunami waves are forecast for some coasts", the National Weather Service Tsunami Warning Center said in an alert. In Tabasco state, two children were left dead, one a baby who died in hospital after the power went out, the Associated Press reported.

Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño Mayer announced that classes had been suspended in 11 of the country's 31 states and in Mexico City to assess the damage at schools. Buildings were immediately shaken by this natural disaster. Of the total, 45 deaths were reported in Oaxaca, 12 in Chiapas and four in Tabasco, the president said.

"Tsunami waves reaching more than three meters above the tide level are possible along the coasts of Mexico", it said, with lower waves in other countries.

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