IN PICS: Mexico mourns 369 killed in strongest ever earthquake

MEXCIO CITY – At least 369 people have died in Thursday’s 8.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico, officials have confirmed.

A government spokesman said nearly 100 people had been killed in the south-west state of Oaxaca alone.

At least 15 people died in the neighbouring state of Chiapas, according to local authorities, while another four deaths have also been confirmed in the state of Tabasco to the north.

More than 5,000 homes were destroyed and many more left without running water or electricity in Juchitan.

Hundreds of families have reportedly been camping in the streets, afraid of the dangers of aftershocks.

The Mexican Seismological Service said 721 had been recorded since the initial tremor.

The earthquake was the strongest the country has seen in a century. The long, juddering tremor was felt some 800km away in Mexico City and as far south as Honduras. The Mexican Seismological Service reported 721 aftershocks.

On Friday, the country’s east coast was also hit by tropical storm Katia. Two people died in mudslides after heavy rain fall.

President Enrique Pena Nieto made a brief appearance on Friday afternoon in Juchitan’s devastated downtown.

Pope Francis, addressing an open air mass on a visit to Colombia, said he was praying “for those who have lost their lives and their families”.

Mexico sits atop five tectonic plates, making it prone to earthquakes, and has two long coastlines that are frequently battered by hurricanes.