Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Mexico City earthquake : Dozens dead after 7.1 magnitude earthquake

Dozens of people have been killed and thousands have been forced on to the streets of Mexico City after an earthquake.

Panicked workers fled from office buildings and clouds of dust rose up from the crumbling facades of damaged buildings after the 7.1 magnitude quake struck.
Mexico's federal government said 79 people have been killed.

The tremors came hours after preparation drills were held on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people in the city.

Mexico City's mayor said four people had died in the capital, while there were reports of people trapped in collapsed and burning buildings and local TV footage showed rescuers frantically trying to dig into rubble with pickaxes.

Speaking minutes after the earthquake struck, resident Georgina Sanchez sobbed: "I'm so worried. I can't stop crying. It's the same nightmare as in 1985."

Gala Dluzhynska said she was taking a class with 11 other women on the second floor of a building in the fashionable Alvaro Obregon street area when window and ceiling panels fell as the building began to tear apart.

She said she fell in the stairs and people began to walk over her, before someone finally pulled her up.

"There were no stairs anymore. There were rocks," she said.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was centred near Raboso in Puebla state, 76 miles (123km) southeast of Mexico City.

A civil protection official in Puebla said two people had been killed after a school collapsed, while Mexico state's governor confirmed eight deaths, including a quarry worker killed by a rockslide and another victim hit by a falling lamppost.
Officials asked people not to smoke in the streets of Mexico City - which has a population of 20 million - warning of possible ruptured gas pipes.

Mexico City International Airport suspended operations, while electricity and phone lines were down in parts of the capital.

"We got out really fast, leaving everything as it was and just left," said Rosaura Suarez, as she stood with a crowd on the street.

Alfredo Aguilar, 43, said the quake was "really strong - buildings started to move".

He added that he saw a woman fainting as "people started to run."

The earthquake came less than two weeks after an 8.1 magnitude tremor in southern Mexico killed at least 98 people.

Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto was on a flight to Oaxaca - one of the areas hardest hit by the previous quake - on Tuesday.

He tweeted that he would be returning to Mexico City as soon as possible to deal with the emergency.

US President Donald Trump tweeted: "God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you."

SKY     News.