Mexico quake: Death toll reaches 226, rescuers dig through rubble

Mexico City: The deadly earthquake on Tuesday has so far taken at least 226 lives in central Mexico, the nation’s civil protection agency said.

The state of Morelos, south of Mexico City, was also hard hit killing 55, Puente said. At least 12 people were killed in the neighboring state of Mexico, and three deaths were reported in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast.

Rescuers dig through collapsed buildings

Rescuers and locals searched through rubble for survivors on Tuesday night, the battered cities of central Mexico, including the capital.

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake toppled dozens of buildings, broke gas mains and sparked fires, making millions to flee into the streets, where they weathered the violent shaking.

Also Read: Powerful 7.1 magnitude quake rattles Mexico: Death toll rises to 139

Emergency personnel in Mexico City, a metropolitan region of about 20 million people, searched frantically with picks and shovels for survivors beneath the rubble of what the sprawling city’s mayor calculated to be as many as 44 collapsed buildings, including at least one primary school, reported Times of India.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said late on Tuesday more than 20 children and two adults had been found dead at the school, Colegio Enrique Rebsamen, in the neighborhood of Coapa. Another 30 children and 12 adults were missing, he said.

“My wife is there,” said Juan Jesus Garcia, 33, choking back tears outside one building in Mexico City.
“I haven’t been able to communicate with her. She is not answering, and now they are telling us we have to turn off our cell phones because there is a gas leak.”

As many as 4.6 million homes, businesses, and other facilities had lost electricity, according to national power company Comision Federal de Electricidad.

Earthquakes of magnitude 7 or above are regarded as major and are capable of causing heavy damage. Another 11 aftershocks were registered after the initial quake at around lunchtime on Tuesday, the most powerful of which measured 4.9, according to the USGS.