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15 killed as strong quake hits Mexico

The Associated Press

Debris from a collapsed wall sits in Oaxaca, Mexico, after an earthquake early Friday.

AFP-Jiji MEXICO CITY(AFP-Jiji) — A powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Mexico late Thursday, killing at least 15 people and triggering a tsunami alert in what the president called the quake-prone country’s biggest one in a century.

The quake hit offshore in the Pacific at 11:49 p.m., about 100 kilometers from the coastal town of Tonala, in far southern Chiapas state, Mexico’s seismologic service said.

“It was a major earthquake in scale and magnitude, the strongest in the past 100 years,” said President Enrique Pena Nieto in an address from the National Disaster Prevention Center’s headquarters, where he was supervising the emergency response.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the magnitude slightly lower, at 8.1. That is the same as a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed more than 10,000 people in Mexico City — the country’s most destructive ever.

The quake shook a large swath of the country and was felt as far north as Mexico City — some 800 kilometers from the epicenter — where people ran from their homes as buildings trembled and swayed.

Pena Nieto said three people were killed in collapsing buildings in Chiapas.

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