Soldiers stand guard by a hotel which collapsed in the earthquake in Matias Romero, Oaxaca State, on September 8, 2017Image copyright AFP
Image caption Soldiers stood guard after a hotel collapsed in the town of Matias Romero, Oaxaca state

The number of people killed by a powerful earthquake off the southern coast of Mexico has risen to at least 58, officials say.

A huge rescue operation is under way in the worst-hit states of Tabasco, Oaxaca and Chiapas where people are feared trapped under rubble.

President Enrique Peña Nieto says at least 200 people have been injured.

The 8.1-magnitude quake was the strongest to hit the region in a century.

“The National Emergency Committee is currently reporting 58 deaths from the September 7 earthquake,” agency director Luis Felipe Puente wrote on Twitter.

Officials said 45 deaths had been reported in Oaxaca; 10 in Chiapas and three in Tabasco.

One of the worst hit towns was Juchitán, in Oaxaca, where at least 17 deaths have been reported. The town hall and a number of other buildings were destroyed or badly damaged.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionA bowling alley shakes in Tuxtla Gutierrez, 240km from the epicentre

“The situation is Juchitán is critical; this is the most terrible moment in its history,” said Mayor Gloria Sanchez.

The BBC’s Arturo Wallace says the affected region is the poorest and least developed part of Mexico and the full extent of the damage is yet to become clear.

At least one other person was killed in Guatemala, its president has said.

The huge quake struck at 23:50 local time on Thursday (04:50 GMT Friday), shaking buildings and causing panic hundreds of miles away in the capital, Mexico City.

It also triggered a tsunami warning and the evacuation of thousands of people in coastal communities in Chiapas. The warning was later lifted.

Throughout Friday, the region was shaken with scores of aftershocks.

President Peña Nieto’s office said he would travel to Chiapas to survey the damage.

The earthquake was more powerful than the 1985 tremor that hit close to Mexico City and caused thousands of deaths.

Source: BBC