Over 200 killed by powerful earthquake in Mexico

Over 200 killed by powerful earthquake in Mexico

A powerful earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, killing 216 people, cracking building facades and scattering rubble on streets in the capital.

Early Wednesday, the director of Mexico’s civil protection agency, Luis Felipe Puente, said on Twitter that 216 people had been killed. Eighty-three people were killed in Mexico City, Mr. Puente said.

Puente added that 86 people died in Mexico City, 71 died in the state of Morelos, 43 in Puebla state, 12 in the State of Mexico, three in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca.

The magnitude 7.1 quake, the deadliest to hit the nation since 1985, struck shortly after 1pm local time, causing violent, prolonged shaking which flattened buildings and sent masonry tumbling onto streets, crushing cars and people in the capital Mexico City and surrounding areas.

The earthquake also appeared to have triggered an eruption of Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano. In Atzitzihuacan on the slopes of the volcano, a church collapsed during mass, killing 15 people, Puebla governor Jose Antonio Gali said.

It was the second major temblor to hit Mexico in two weeks and came on the anniversary of the 1985 quake that devastated Mexico City, the Guardian reported,

The epicentre of the quake was near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (122km) southeast of Mexico City, at a depth of 32 miles (51 km), the US Geological Survey said.

President Enrique Peña Nieto visited the site earlier in the evening and was besieged by desperate parents, telling him that their children were missing.

The overall death toll was expected to continue rising as emergency crews and improvised citizen brigades combed through rubble.