Powerful 7.1 Earthquake Hits Mexico Killing Dozens

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A powerful earthquake struck central Mexico, killing at least 42 people in the state of Morelos and toppling buildings in Mexico City.

Update: The death toll now stands at 216 according to the country’s civil protection agency.

The quake measured magnitude 7.1 according to the US Geological Survey (USGS) and happened on the anniversary of the 1985 quake that killed thousands and caused major damage to the capital.

Thousands of people have reportedly fled onto the streets in Mexico City’s main boulevard in panic. At least 27 buildings collapsed in Mexico City, according to reports.

Local media are reporting that at least 47 people have been killed, and that an unknown number of others may be trapped in buildings throughout the city.

The BBC reports:

The capital’s airport has suspended operations after the 7.1 magnitude quake, and buildings across the city have been evacuated.

Fire has been reported in several buildings, with some people said to be trapped inside.

Earlier this month, a strong 8.1 magnitude tremor left at least 90 dead.

The epicentre of the quake was next to Atencingo in the Puebla state, some 120km (75 miles) from Mexico City, with a depth of 51km, the US Geological Survey said.

The tremor happened as an earthquake drill was being held in Mexico City, on the 32nd anniversary of a quake that killed up to 10,000 people.

Damage was also reported in other towns close to the epicentre.

On Twitter (in Spanish), Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto urged people to avoid the streets so emergency services could easily reach the hardest-hit areas.

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