Powerful earthquake rocks Mexico City

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017
Last Update: 13:44
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake in central Mexico has killed at least 226 people, including more than 20 children at a collapsed primary school. The death toll is likely to mount as rescue crews claw through rubble. The death toll from a devastating earthquake in central Mexico climbed to at least 226 people on Wednesday, as rescue crews struggled to save those trapped under collapsed buildings in the densly populated area.

Civil protection agency head Luis Felipe Puente wrote on Twitter Wednesday that at least 117 people had been killed in Mexico City, 55 in the state of Morelos, 39 in Puebla, 12 in Mexico State and three in Guerrero.

Tuesday΄s earthquake happened nearly two weeks after a devastating tremor off the country΄s southwestern coast killed at least 90 people. It also fell on the anniversary of a 1985 quake in Mexico City that caused the death of about 10,000 people.

President Enrique Pena Nieto, who has called together his national crisis council, said he had declared a state of disaster. Emergency personnel have been been deployed across affected areas so that "throughout the night we can continue aiding the population and eventually find people beneath the rubble," he said in a video statement.

According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and hit 5 miles (8 kilometers) southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla. Mexico΄s seismological agency recorded 11 aftershocks.

Mexican news outlets and residents have shared dramatic images of buildings collapsing and on fire.

s/kl (AFP, Reuters)

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