Mexico City, Mexico — A powerful earthquake shook most of central Mexico collapsing at least 27 buildings Tuesday as a second quake hit the region in less than two weeks.
According to the US Geological Survey, the ecpicenter of Tuesday’s devastating earthquake was 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles (55 km) south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state.
The National Seismological Service of Mexico reports the earthquake of magnitude 7.1 occurred at 13:14:40 Mexico time with the epicenter 120 kilometers from Mexico City and at a depth of 57 kilometers.
This latest earthquake affected the states of Morelos, Puebla, Edomex, Guerrero, Oaxaca and CDMX, collapsing buildings, causing gas leaks and killing hundreds. Rescuers spent the day searching for survivors after many were trapped under collapsed buildings.
Secretary of the Interior Miguel Angel Osorio Chong reported that at the moment the death toll for the 7.1-degree earthquake in Mexico City, Puebla, Morelos, Estado de México and Guerrero amounts to 217.
Luis Felipe Puente National Coordinator of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior gave the breakdown of the report: 86 Mexico City, 71 Morelos, 43 in Puebla, 12 in Edomex, 4 Guerrero and 1 in Oaxaca.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said 22 bodies were found in a collapsed elementary school in Mexico City, while at least 30 children were still missing. Thousands of civilians, civil protection rescuers and soldiers have been working to dig through piles of concrete rubble from dozens of buildings.
Thousands of militia members were activated to help rescue people on the streets of the capital, where rescuers made a call for silence throughout the afternoon to detect any alert from trapped people who could not be seen in simple sight.
In addition, some 200 engineering and architecture students from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) were added at the headquarters of the National Center for Disaster Prevention to assist with their operations following the earthquake.
Tourists touring Xochimilco in Mexico City were also affected by the earthquake as large swells rocked boats.
The earthquake had at least 11 aftershocks, the strongest of category 4.0, and left 4.6 million people without electricity, according to the Federal Electricity Commission.
“We are facing a new national emergency,” Peña Nieto said during his citizen address.
The director of CFE reported that they had made repairs to their substation and restored service to 60% percent of Mexico City, but that at least 1.7 million were still without power.
ETN Turistar Lujo and ADO bus lines have offered free transportation to paramedics and rescue teams. Free tickets are available to those with Civil Protection or rescue group credentials.
Tuesday’s earthquake came only 10 days after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck off the southern coast of Mexico and on the anniversary of the 1985 8.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico City, killing an estimated 9,500.