The death toll in one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Mexico has risen to sixty.

The quake struck off the country's southern coast, toppled hundreds of buildings and sent panicked people fleeing into the streets.

The Interior Department reported that 428 homes were destroyed and 1,700 damaged in various cities and towns in Chiapas state.

Mexican emergency agencies are already bracing for Hurricane Katia on the other side of the country.

The system is expected to strike the Gulf coast in the state of Veracruz later on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Irma lashed Cuba and the Bahamas after hitting the eastern Caribbean with its devastatingly high winds, killing 21 people and leaving catastrophic destruction.

Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, is expected to hit Florida on Sunday.

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