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In the wee hours of Friday morning, central Mexico was rocked with the most powerful earthquake to hit our southern neighbor in over a century. The tremblor measured 8.1 on the Richter scale. Buildings and roads over a large area of the nation collapsed or were damaged by the quake. The quake was strong enough to cause the issuing of tsunami warnings and evacuations along much of Mexico and Central America.

The last major quake close to this magnitude nearly leveled most of Mexico City in 1985. This quake was centered about 650 miles away from Mexico City, but the force was enough to rock buildings in the capital city and be felt over 1,000 miles away. The early death toll is at 32, but is expected to rise as rescue and recovery takes place.\

One of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Mexico struck off the country’s southern coast, toppling hundreds of buildings, triggering tsunami evacuations and sending panicked people fleeing into the streets in the middle of the night. At least 32 people were reported killed.

The quake that hit late Thursday was strong enough to cause buildings to sway violently in the capital city more than 650 miles away. As beds banged against walls, people still wearing pajamas ran out of their homes and gathered in frightened groups.

Rodrigo Soberanes, who lives near San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas, the state nearest the epicenter, said his house “moved like chewing gum.” …

An elder of from our church was on a mission trip in southern Mexico and he said the quake woke him from a sound sleep. At first he thought it was the winds from Hurricane Katia hitting the area, but when he looked outside, there was no wind but the cars outside were bouncing up and down. He said it lasted for about 2 minutes, where most earthquakes only last seconds.

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