Magnitude 8 Earthquake Hits Mexico

The earthquake follows the trend of devastating natural disasters happening lately. There are still warnings about aftershocks, and the mass evacuations may make handling Hurricane Katia more difficult.

Mexico was hit by its strongest earthquake in more than a century, killing dozens of people in southern states and shaking buildings in the capital.

The tremor revived memories of a 1985 earthquake in Mexico City that killed thousands, though early indications were that last night’s quake, which struck off the Pacific coast hundreds of miles south of the capital, hasn’t caused fatalities on that scale. With information about the impact on remote rural communities still coming in, the government said at least 58 had died and warned of aftershocks. Concern that the quake could hurt already sluggish growth in Latin America’s second-biggest economy drove the peso lower.

The temblor hit offshore near Chiapas state at 11:49 p.m. local time. It had a magnitude of 8.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and Mexico’s National Seismological Service, making it larger than the 8.0 quake of 1985.

The biggest death toll so far was in Oaxaca state, where homes collapsed and the nation’s largest refinery was shut down for some time.