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Death Toll in Mexico Quake Continues to Rise

The death toll for the magnitude 8.2 earthquake that struck Mexico just before midnight last night—the strongest quake to hit the country in a century—has risen to 35, the Associated Press reports.

The tremor was felt all the way in Mexico City, at least 650 miles away from the quake's epicenter 100 miles off the Pacific coast of Chiapas. Violent shaking, a blaring seismic alarm, and breaking glass sent residents—many of whom lived through the 1985 quake that killed thousands—streaming into the streets still in their pajamas. Mexico City was spared the worst of the damage, however, which occurred further south in Chiapas and Oaxaca. At least 17 of the 35 deaths occurred in the Oaxacan city of Juchitan, where roughly half the town's infrastructure lies in ruins, according to the AP.

Schools in at least 11 states were closed Friday in order to assess damage. "We are assessing the damage, which will probably take hours, if not days," President Enrique Peña Nieto said in a statement to the nation in the early morning hours of Friday. "But the population is safe over all. There should not be a major sense of panic."