All LDS missionaries safe after Mexico earthquake

Salt Lake Temple. Photo courtesy: Intellectual Reserve, Inc

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Sept. 8, 2017 (Gephardt Daily/UPI) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has confirmed that all its missionaries serving in Mexico are safe after the most powerful earthquake to hit the country in 100 years, officials said Friday.

Authorities began confirming death counts Friday morning, saying that 32 people have died after the 8.1-magnitude quake hit Pijijiapan, along Mexico’s southern coast, just before midnight Thursday.

The quake was strong enough to be felt in Mexico City, 630 miles to the northwest. The U.S. Geological Survey reported the magnitude at 8.1, but other institutions rated it between 8.2 and 8.4.

The Church issued the following statement on the Mexico earthquake:

With the rest of the world, we are deeply concerned about the many natural disasters that have occurred around the globe in recent weeks. Last night’s earthquake in Mexico affected thousands of people, and we pray for their safety and well-being. Two missions of the Church were directly impacted (the Mexico Tuxtla Gutierrez and Mexico Oaxaca Missions) and the quake was felt throughout a much larger region. We have confirmed that all missionaries are safe and well. The condition of other Church facilities and the earthquake’s impact to other members are unknown at this time. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said in a news conference Friday that the earthquake was the strongest to hit the nation in a century — and that 50 million Mexicans felt shaking.

“The national emergency Committee will remain active to assess damage and coordinate actions of care for the population,” he tweeted early Friday.

The death toll will almost certainly rise, officials said. The Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Tabasco confirmed a number of deaths in their regions.

The quake triggered tsunami waves as high as 10 feet, the U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.

Emergency personnel clean debris in Mexico City, Mexico, early Friday after a 8.1 magnitude earthquake violently shook the country. Photo by EFE/Sashenka Gutierrez/EPA

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