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224 killed as powerful 7.1 magnitude quake hits Mexico

Strong tremor felt in Mexico City as quake strikes Puebla state, forcing people to flee buildings.

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Mexico City, Sep 20, 2017: At least 224 people have died in a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that shook central Mexico, the Secretary of the Interior said.

Miguel Angel Osorio confirmed 117 people have died in Mexico City, 55 in Morelos, 12 in State of Mexico and another in Guerrero.

He added that 45 buildings have completely collapsed in the Tuesday quake, Efe news reported.

Osorio also said authorities have received reports of people being trapped in six of the collapsed buildings.

The emergency services were carrying out rescue operations in the areas affected in the Tuesday disaster, Efe news reported.

Mexico’s National Coordinator for Civil Protection, Luis Felipe Puente, confirming the toll gave the break-up of various areas — 64 in Morelos, 36 here, 29 in Puebla, nine in the State of Mexico and one in Guerrero.

As night fell, thousands of troops were working in the dozens of dilapidated buildings here.

On Monterey Street, near the Miguel Aleman Viaduct one of the city’s main thoroughfares, a building with at least four floors has collapsed completely.

At least a hundred soldiers, fire-fighters and civil defence officers using shovels and picks and buckets were remove the debris, working arduously against the clock to get the alive out from under the rubble.

The Dog Squads were also pressed into service.

“We pull out debris and work in a line, and when they ask you to be quiet, you remain silent. If applause is heard, we start to get the person out”, a young man explained.

Emergency teams were attempting to rescue people trapped in collapsed buildings here. Traffic chaos has made it difficult for ambulances to get through as fears of new quakes loom on people’s mind.

Director of the National Centre for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred), Carlos Valdes, ruled out the possibility of strong aftershocks due to the depth of the epicentre at 57 km.

So far there have only been two, the largest one is of 3.3-magnitudes, he said.

The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) reported that 3.8 million residents were without electricity, after it was cut off as a prevention measure.

Tuesday’s quake coincided with the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that claimed thousands of lives.

Earlier this month, a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico, killing at least 98 people.

The worst earthquake in the history of Mexico occurred on September 19, 1985, killing nearly 10,000 people.

Mexico City was among the places that were seriously affected.

Disaster

Tourists raise over $11,000 for Guatemala volcano victims

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Gautemala Volcano Eruption

Guatemala City, June 16: Tourists from a Japanese cruise ship that docked in Guatemala this week have raised more than $11,000 for those affected by the eruption of the Fuego volcano in the Central American country.

The ship, Asuka II, arrived in Puerto Quetzal on the country’s Pacific coast on June 11 and at the initiative of the crew and the passengers, the funds were raised, reports Efe news.

The passengers and crew made a gesture of “fraternity and solidarity” with the people of Guatemala in the face of the tragedy and natural disaster caused by the eruption of the volcano, the Japanese embassy here said in a statement on Friday.

The Fuego volcano suffered its biggest eruption in recent years on June 3, leaving 110 dead and almost 200 missing, in addition to causing significant material damage.

On Friday, the volcano produced seven explosions per hour and small pyroclastic flows.

Guatemala’s National Institute for Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology said that the volcano, located some 50 km west of the capital, has been producing between five and seven moderate explosions per hour and has belched out ash clouds rising 4,700 metres into the air.

IANS

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Himachal Pradesh: Earthquake of magnitude 4.5 strikes Chamba

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New Delhi, June 14: An earthquake of magnitude 4.5 on the Richter Scale hit Himachal Pradesh on Thursday. The quake was reported at Chamba region.

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Guatemala volcano eruption toll reaches 114

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Gautemala Volcano Eruption

Guatemala City, June 12:  The death toll from the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala on June 3 has increased to 114 after another four bodies were found, according to authorities.

Conred national disaster coordinator brigades, firefighters, army troops and international experts – aided by surviving local residents – on Monday entered so-called “Ground Zero” in the community of San Miguel Los Lotes, in Escuintla province, which was buried under volcanic ash and devastated by pyroclastic flows, reports Efe news.

Using picks and other tools, along with some heavy machinery, recovery brigades found the four bodies in the ruins of the village and under the tonnes of volcanic material.

The victims appeared to be members of a family.

The area reeks of sulfer and recent rains have hardened the pyroclastic flows of volcanic material that have moved down the mountain’s slopes.

Authorities say there is zero possibility of finding any survivors in the devastated areas.

Conred said that because of rainy conditions, search operations were suspended on Monday but will resume on Tuesday.

Insivumeh also reported that volcanic activity within the mountain continues, including frequent and abundant emanations of ash and gas and up to nine explosions per hour, activity that is causing repeated avalanches of fine ash and other material along the southeastern flank.

Health Minister Carlos Soto said that the more than 4,000 people being housed in shelters are being attended to by private organisations such as the Rotary Club.

According to volcanologists, eruption records of Fuego, one of the country’s most active volcanoes, dates back to 1542.

IANS

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