Officials expect death toll to rise as rescue workers race to find survivors of Thursday’s devastating earthquake.
“The power of this earthquake was devastating, but we are certain that the power of unity, the power of solidarity and the power of shared responsibility will be greater,” Pena Nieto said in a televised address on Friday.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) reported the magnitude of the earthquake that hit southern Mexico late on Thursday as 8.1, but the president described it as an 8.2-magnitude quake – “the largest registered in [Mexico] in at least the past 100 years”.
He said it was bigger than the one in 1985 that killed more than 10,000 people in Mexico City.
On Friday, police, soldiers and emergency workers raced to rescue survivors from the rubble of houses, churches and schools that were split down the middle.
Pena Nieto said that 61 people were killed, including 45 who died in Oaxaca state, 12 in Chiapas and four in Tabasco. More than 200 people were injured across Mexico, officials said.
Sources said that as “rescuers reach the coastal areas in southern Mexico, close to the Guatemalan border, the death toll is expected to continue to climb”.