JOHN YANG: In the day’s other news: Late today, President Trump signed the bill to spend more than $15 billion in Harvey relief. The House had given its final congressional approval earlier in the day. The legislation also raises the federal debt ceiling and funds the government through early December. It’s part of a deal President Trump made with Democrats earlier this week.
And much of Southern Mexico spent a tense day after a powerful earthquake struck in the middle of the night. It hit the Pacific coast, killing at least 60 people and turning hundreds of buildings into rubble.
Nick Schifrin has our report.
NICK SCHIFRIN: In the dead of night, the ground shook so hard, the centuries-old buildings crumbled. This was once Juchitan’s city hall. It’s now cut in half, and collapsed. Old structures stood no chance against the strongest earthquake in nearly a century.
Rescuers frantically tried to save victims. And beneath all that rubble, survivors were trapped alive, at least four under this building alone.
City councillor Pamela Teran begged for help.
PAMELA TERAN, City Councilor (through interpreter): Please, the most pressing need we have right now is to assemble enough people to help us. We need volunteers to come and help us. We need more people to come and help.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The nearby hospital also collapsed. Doctors triaged victims in the streets, and used the lights of cell phones to stitch up the wounded.
By dawn, heaps of rubble had replaced a once proud neighborhood. The mayor called this the city’s most terrible moment. The 8.1-magnitude quake struck just before midnight off Mexico’s Pacific coast. Hardest hit were nearby Oaxaca and Chiapas states, but the ground shook as far as the capital, Mexico City, more than 650 miles away.
There, tremors lasted for nearly a minute. Panicked residents huddled in open streets.
WOMAN (through interpreter): It was horrible. I never felt something so ugly. It was small at first, but then it started shaking a lot. Once we went downstairs, it shook even stronger, and it felt like we were being wrung like clothes in a washing machine. That was terrible.
NICK SCHIFRIN: In Mexico City, local TV showed firefighters beginning to clear collapsed buildings.
Already, there have been 20 aftershocks. And there may be more to come, warned Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PEÑA NIETO, Mexico (through interpreter): We have asked the population to be on alert. It’s probable there will be another.
NICK SCHIFRIN: The earthquake preceded a natural disaster Mexico could forecast, and is bracing for, Hurricane Katia and 110-mile-an-hour winds are expected make landfall early Saturday.
Back in Juchitan, the damage is daunting. But even as the destruction was still fresh, a resident found a Mexican flag and made sure it could still fly. A city whose center has been destroyed is now promising to rebuild.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Nick Schifrin.
JOHN YANG: In Myanmar, there is word that, in the past 24 hours, another 100,000 Rohingya refugees fled into Bangladesh. The U.N. reports that makes 270,000 in two weeks. They’re running from army attacks in mostly Buddhist Myanmar.
Today, thousands of Muslim protesters gathered in Jakarta, Indonesia, demanding that Myanmar’s government stop the violence. Hundreds more in the Philippines demonstrated outside Myanmar’s embassy in Manila.
The U.S. Supreme Court will have to decide if grandparents of people already in the United States are exempt from President Trump’s travel ban on visitors from six mostly Muslim nations. The administration has interpreted an earlier high court ruling to mean that grandparents and other close relations are not exempt. But, on Thursday, a federal appeals court in San Francisco disagreed.
And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 13 points to close at 21797. The Nasdaq fell 37 points, and the S&P 500 slipped three. For the week, the Dow and the S&P lost a fraction of 1 percent, and Nasdaq was down a little more than 1 percent.