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Over 200 dead after earthquake rocks Mexico City

by David Gilbert
Sep 20 2017, 6:29am

Rescue workers and volunteers are frantically searching for survivors after an earthquake rocked Mexico City Tuesday afternoon. At least 217 people died in the quake, the deadliest to strike the capital in 30 years. The death toll is expected to rise as emergency services claw through the rubble trying to locate victims.

Among the dead are 20 children, who perished when their school in Coapa district collapsed.

The 7.1 magnitude quake destroyed dozens of buildings around the city. Rescuers digging in the destruction have been calling for silence in order to hear the cries of those trapped under the debris.

“This earthquake is a hard and very painful test for our country,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said Tuesday evening. “We will stay united, confronting this new challenge together,” he added.

Analysis of the quake by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates as many as 1,000 people may have died, while the economic impact could be as much as $10 billion.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Mexico’s National Coordinator for Civil Protection, Luis Felipe Puente, confirmed the rising death toll, including 86 in Mexico City, 71 in Morelos and 43 in Puebla state.
  • The number of deaths initially stood at 248, but was revised downwards Wednesday morning.
  • More than 200 schools were impacted by the quake, including the Enrique Rebsámen School in Mexico City where at least 20 pupils died along with 2 teachers when the building collapsed. Some 30 pupils from the school remain missing.
  • Fifteen people reportedly died when a church located on the slopes of a volcano collapsed during mass.The epicenter of the quake hit near the town of San Juan Raboso, 75 miles (120km) south of Mexico City. It registered at 1.14 p.m. local time (2.14 p.m. ET) Tuesday.
  • There have been 11 aftershocks, the strongest a magnitude 4 tremor.More than 500 members of the Mexican military are helping to search for survivors. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said 44 buildings had collapsed, including a factory, a supermarket, and a six-storey tower block.
  • Tuesday’s quake struck exactly 32 years to the day of one of the country’s deadliest earthquakes. In 1985 an 8 magnitude event devastated Mexico City, killing 5,000 people.
  • Two weeks ago, a powerful 8.1 magnitude quake killed at least 98 people when it struck off Mexico’s Pacific coast.

Drone Footage of destruction in Mexico City

enrique pena nieto
Mexico earthquake