Mexico City
Disaster

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.

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.

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