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Mexico City's Residents Came Together to Save Lives

As the death toll continues to rise, residents of the bustling city pull together to become rescue workers overnight.

by Rogelio Velázquez
Sep 20 2017, 5:15pm

A version of this post first appeared on VICE Mexico. Click here to read the original in Spanish . Photos by Rogelio Velazquez and Hans Musielik.

In the city's bustling Roma North neighborhood, doctors, dog walkers, students, and store owners became rescue workers overnight, offering their hands in an enormous rescue effort to save their neighbors trapped under the debris after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck on Tuesday. As night fell, the workers pressed on in silence in order to hear cries of help from those still trapped in the rubble.

Hours earlier the massive quake shook Mexico's sprawling metropolis, bringing giant buildings to the ground, and burying innocents under rubble and tons of cement. As of this writing, at least 217 people had been killed in the quake, 20 of them children, with the death toll expected to rise. Roma North was among the hardest hit areas in the city. A normally bustling neighborhood lined with restaurants and storefronts, Roma North looked more like a war zone Tuesday evening.

A new improvised rescue brigade formed every few minutes. Ambulance sirens screamed ceaselessly. Firefighters rushed in and out from emergency to emergency. Supermarket carts became medicine chests stuffed with water and medical supplies.

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