Mexico City earthquake leads to death of 200 and counting

With the death toll rising to 226, the rescue teams and ordinary citizens kept looking for survivors amidst the rubble on Tuesday night in devastated cities of central Mexico, including the capital. Within a fortnight of a powerful quake hitting south Mexico and taking 98 lives, the central part of the country faced an earthquake of a magnitude 7.1 to cause severe devastation. It also hit just hours after the emergency drills to commemorate the anniversary of a temblor of 1985 which killed thousands.

Amidst violent shaking, millions of people came out on the streets and tried to verify the safety of their families. Over 44 buildings including one primary school collapsed in the Mexico City inhabiting about 20 million people with emergency personnel frantically trying to spot any survivors, they would strive throughout the night to save any survivor. Late Tuesday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto informed that over 20 children and two adults died in the school, Colegio Enrique Rebsamen, in the neighborhood of Coapa with 30 children and 12 adults missing.

As rescue workers and soldiers worked with heat-sensing equipment to look for survivors, bystanders helped them by clearing debris with their hands and any tools at hands reach. Making tracking difficult, people were asked to turn off their cell phones because of a gas leak. Civil defense Chief Luis Felipe Puente stated of the quake taking 49 lives so far with the highest number of 55 in the Morelos State, just to the south. 13 more died in the neighboring states of Mexico and Guerrero, 32 in the central state of Puebla. The quake's epicenter was located to the south. Over 4.6 million homes, businesses, and other facilities faced power outages. They were predominantly in the greater Mexico City area and states of Guerrero, Morelos, Puebla, Oaxaca, and Tlaxcala. Almost the whole of Mexico was shaken with this 8.1 magnitude quake on September 7th striking southern Mexico, the strongest in eight decades. Over 98 people have already died. Earthquakes above magnitude 7 are considered major as they can cause heavy damage. Eleven aftershocks followed the initial quake which happened around lunchtime. Its most powerful quake was of magnitude 4.9.

Apart from the school, a supermarket and a factory also collapsed in the capital. The predominant damage happened in the fashionable Condesa and Roma districts near the city center. Twitter swarmed with pleas for news of family members. Mexican media showed locals forming human chains even in the dark to spot and rescue survivors. Rescue teams worked with flashlights and generators. People cheered when a rescue team saved four people in Obrera, a central neighborhood in Mexico City. With the civil protection agency, the Red Cross and firefighters calling for volunteers, a steady stream of them kept coming in to support their work. The earthquake caused Mexican stocks and the peso currency to drop; the Mexico stock exchange suspended trading. Coinciding with the earthquake, Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano did a small eruption causing 15 people to die in a church during mass in Atzitzihuacan on the slopes of the volcano.

Through a Twitter message, US President Donald Trump assured Mexico of his country standing by them during this crisis.

December 17, 2017 - 00:49
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