The official death toll after Mexico’s 8.1 magnitude earthquake has risen to 96 as more deaths were confirmed in the hard-hit southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.
The Foreign Relations Department said 95 people had died nationwide in Thursday’s quake, and Chiapas state civil defence director Luis Manuel Garcia Moreno said later that the number of deaths there had risen from 15 to 16.
Oaxaca governor Alejandro Murat told the Milenio television network that the death toll in his state alone had risen to 76. Officials have reported four people died in the Gulf coast state of Tabasco. The Foreign Relations Department said the quake and Hurricane Katia, which struck on Friday, have forced Mexico to withdraw an offer of aid for Houston, Texas, which was hit by Hurricane Harvey in August.
The US had thanked Mexico for the offer and said only logistical aid was needed. The Mexican Red Cross said 33 of its volunteers were helping out in Houston. Mexico said it would now dedicate its efforts to its own disasters.
About 5,000 homes in Chiapas were completely destroyed. Officials are still inspecting homes in Oaxaca, where more were damaged. Teams of soldiers and federal police with shovels and sledgehammers fanned out across neighbourhoods to help demolish damaged buildings.
Volunteers, many of them teenagers from religious or community groups in surrounding towns that were not as severely hit, turned out in force to distribute water and clothing or lend a hand.