Saturday 20 October 2018

Volunteers searching for people trapped under the debris.

Over 200 killed as powerful quake rocks Mexico

MEXICO CITY, September 20, 2017

At least 216 people were killed after an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale struck Mexico on Tuesday. The quake came hours after the country participated in emergency drills to mark the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 tremblor that killed thousands.

Several buildings collapsed, electricity supply was cut off and mobile networks were interrupted, sending waves of panic through the streets of the country’s capital. The Mexican government has declared a state of disaster in Mexico City, reported news agency AP.

Many civilians assisted authorities in rescue operations, amid fears that the death toll will climb higher. Many people are feared trapped under the debris. The international airport in Mexico City has suspended operations.

Rescuers searched for survivors through the night after Tuesday's powerful earthquake shook Mexico City and surrounding states, killing scores and leaving many trapped under collapsed buildings.

All the deaths were reported in Mexico City -- the country's capital -- and in the states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos, officials said. Previously, authorities had said that as many as 248 people had died. The death toll was later revised, reported CNN.

The epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake was 4.5 km east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 55 km south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state, according to the US Geological Survey.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said 22 bodies were found in the debris of an elementary school in Mexico City that collapsed due to the earthquake. At least 30 children were still missing Tuesday night, he said.

"We are facing a new national emergency," Peña Nieto told citizens earlier on his first address following the earthquake.

Tuesday's earthquake came more than one week after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck off the southern coast of the country, killing at least 90, according to the governor of the hard-hit state of Oaxaca.

In Mexico City, thousands of soldiers, rescuers and civilians -- including college students -- were working side by side to dig through tall piles of rubble from dozens of crumbled buildings.

The quake left the busiest city in Mexico in chaos. Windows buckled and shattered, falling several stories to the ground while thousands of people streamed into the streets running away from buildings and potential gas leaks, said the CNN report.

People struggled to get home when power poles that toppled in the quake blocked the streets and the public transportation system temporarily shut down operations. Nearly 5 million customers were still without power early Wednesday, it added.

Tags: Mexico | killed | powerful quake |


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