Monday 15 October 2018

At least 100 dead as earthquake hits Mexico just hours after quake drills on anniversary of 1985 disaster

People works at a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People works at a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People remove debris on top of a collapsed building after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
Damages are seen after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People are seen injured after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
Remains of a damaged building stands after an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. A powerful earthquake has jolted Mexico, causing buildings to sway sickeningly in the capital on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that did major damage. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Damages are seen after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Damages are seen after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
People are seen injured after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

At least 100 people were killed when a powerful earthquake struck central Mexico on Tuesday, officials said.

The highest death toll was in Morelos state, just south of Mexico City, where 42 deaths were reported. In the capital itself, mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said at least four people were killed.

In the neighboring state of Mexico, at least 8 people were killed, according to governor Alfredo Del Mazo. Six deaths were reported by civil protection authorities in Puebla state, to the south.

The quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly in Mexico City and sent panicked office workers streaming into the streets, but the full extent of the damage was not yet clear.

A damaged car is seen outside a building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
A damaged car is seen outside a building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People works at a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People help an injured man after an earthquake hit Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
People help a victim after an earthquake hit Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
The body of woman hangs crushed by a collapsed building in the neighborhood of Roma Norte, in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
Rescue workers arrive at a damaged building after an earthquake hit Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
Rescue workers and volunteers search a building that collapsed after an earthquake in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)
People work at a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
A damaged building is seen after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
Police officers are seen next to a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People and children are seen along the street after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People and children are seen on a street after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
A collapsed building is seen after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
Women carrying their dogs stand outside their homes after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
People work to rescue people from a collapsed building in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Enric Marti)

The US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centred near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles south east of Mexico City.

Thousands of people fled office buildings and hugged to calm each other along Mexico City's central Reforma Avenue as alarms blared, and traffic stopped around the Angel of Independence monument.

People work to rescue people from a collapsed building in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Enric Marti)
People work to rescue people from a collapsed building in the Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Enric Marti)

In the Roma neighbourhood, which was struck hard by the 1985 quake, piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets.

Two men calmed a woman seated on a stool in the street, blood trickling form a small wound on her knee.

A damaged car is seen outside a building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
A damaged car is seen outside a building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

At a nearby market, a worker in a hardhat walked around the outside warning people not to smoke as a smell of gas filled the air.

Market trader Edith Lopez, 25, was in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck.

She said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings. She was anxiously trying to locate her children, whom she had left in the care of her disabled mother.

Pictures fell from office building walls, objects were shaken off of flat surfaces and computer monitors toppled over.

Police officers are seen next to a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut
Police officers are seen next to a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Claudia Daut

Some people dived for cover under desks and local media broadcast video of whitecap waves churning the city's normally placid canals of Xochimilco as boats bobbed up and down.

Earlier in the day workplaces across the city held preparation drills on the anniversary of the 1985 quake, a magnitude 8.1 temblor, which killed thousands of people and devastated large parts of Mexico City.

Much of Mexico City is built on former lakebed, and the soil is known to amplify the effects of earthquakes even hundreds of miles away.

The latest earthquake comes 11 days after a huge temblor killed 96 people.

Mexican media broadcast images of several downed buildings in heavily populated parts of Mexico City and nearby Cuernavaca.

A column of smoke rose from a structure in one central neighbourhood in the capital.

Dramatic video showed a mid-rise building collapsing into a cloud of dust. It was not clear whether there were people inside.

Mexico City's international airport suspended operations, saying in a tweet that staff were checking the structures for damage.

Press Association

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