Published: Wednesday 20 September, 2017

7.1 Magnitude Earthquake in Mexico City Kills 248, Death Toll Expected to Rise

At least 248 people died in a 7.1 magnitude earthquake near Mexico City on the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake. And the death toll is still expected to rise as rescue and recovery efforts continue in Mexico’s capital city as well as its surrounding areas devastated by the huge tremor.

Mexico City earthquake survivor

A victim is pulled out alive from a collapsed building in the Mexico City earthquake. (The Associated Press)

Among the dead are more than 20 school children who were buried alive when their school building collapsed on them Tuesday morning local time. Another two dozen or so school children remain missing.

The earthquake struck on the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. It also occurred just hours after a nationwide earthquake drill was held to commemorate the anniversary.

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The tremor was traced near Puebla, about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City. Although other areas near the capital were also badly hit, Mexico City suffered more damage and casualties due to the size of its population and the density of its infrastructure.

Horrifying photos of collapsed buildings, scattered rubble and injured people flooded the Internet and news wires. Others showed the fear and grief written in faces of survivors.

Rescue efforts continue as they battle against time in finding those buried under concrete blocks. As the clock ticks, time may be running out for those who survived but are left trapped underneath collapsed structures.

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The Mexican government has declare a state of disaster in the capital, and President Enrique Pena Nieto has ordered all hospitals to open their doors to the injured.

Mexico earthquake

One of the dozens of collapsed buildings after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City. (The Associated Press)

Mexico City earthquake