Footage shows aftermath of Mexico earthquake

Mexico City earthquake: At least 225 people dead after huge 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes capital

Interior Minister confirms dramatic rise in fatalities from previously reported 149 as rescue operations continue

Jon Sharman
Wednesday 20 September 2017 06:44

The death toll following the devastating Mexico earthquake now stands at 225, according to the country’s civil protection agency.

The head of the agency, Luis Felipe Puente, said 94 are dead in Mexico City, 71 in Morelos state, 43 in Puebla, 12 in the State of Mexico, four in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong had earlier said the total was at least 226, but this was quickly revised up to 248 on Wednesday morning, before coming back down.

Central Mexico was struck by a 7.1 magnitude quake yesterday evening and a citywide recovery operation is currently underway in the capital. Some 86 people are thought to have died in the city itself.

Among those killed were at least 20 children in a school where buildings collapsed.

A mix of neighborhood volunteers, police and firefighters used trained dogs and their bare hands to search through the school’s rubble.

Reports swept through the crowd of anxious parents outside the gates that relatives in two families had received Whatsapp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed.

The rescue effort continued through the night, the work punctuated by cries of “quiet” so searchers could listen for any faint calls for help.

Dozens of buildings were felled by tremors on Tuesday, and power was knocked out for 40 per cent of Mexico City and 60 per cent of Morelos state, to its south.

According to CNN Español, about four million people are without electricity.

The capital’s mayor, Miguel Angel Mancera, said buildings fell at 44 places as high-rises across the city swayed sickeningly.

The earthquake struck close to the town of Raboso in the central state of Puebla, 76 miles southeast of Mexico City, the US Geological Survey said.

It was the deadliest in Mexico since a 1985 quake on the same date killed thousands. It came less than two weeks after another powerful quake caused 90 deaths in the country’s south.

Mexico’s federal government has declared a state of disaster, meaning emergency funds are now available to help respond to the devastation.

US President Donald Trump tweeted following the quake: “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.” The response came more quickly than Mr Trump’s offer of condolences following a prior 8.1 tremor in Oaxaca earlier this month, that killed at least 98 people.

Mr Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, offered “a big hug” to the US’ southern neighbour. He tweeted: “Thinking about our neighbors in Mexico and all our Mexican-American friends tonight. Cuidense mucho y un fuerte abrazo para todos.”

Aurelio Nuño, the Mexican secretary of public education, said classes were suspended for all pupils in eight states. He cut short a visit to Havana, Cuba, to attend to the emergency, Univision reported.

Mexico's head of civil protection, Luis Felipe Puente, exhorted the population to continue helping rescue workers from 8am on Wednesday, local time, the site added.

Additional reporting by agencies

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