Mexico quake toll rises to 7; hundreds of homes damaged

Mexican authorities say the magnitude 7.4 earthquake that rocked southern  Mexico killed at least seven people, damaged hundreds of homes and temporarily cut power to more than 2.4 million people

The quake that struck at 10:29 a.m. (11:20 a.m. Eastern) Tuesday also caused a brief fire at an oil refinery in the Pacific coast city of Salina Cruz.

Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat said Wednesday that a seventh fatality had been registered in the state, where at least 500 homes were damaged and colonial-era government buildings showed cracks.

Churches, bridges and highways also suffered damage during the quake, which was followed by hundreds of aftershocks, most of them small.

“Yesterday a violent earthquake hit the south of Mexico causing victims, injuries and enormous damage. Let’s pray for them. May the help of God and our brothers give them strength and support. Brothers and sisters, I am very close to you,” he said at his weekly general audience.

It was felt in Guatemala and throughout south and central Mexico.

In Huatulco, a laid-back beach destination known for surfing and small protected coves, the earthquake knocked goods off shelves and some rubble from buildings.