Mexico's 7.1 magnitude quake kills at least 248, search on for survivors

Mexico
20 Sep 2017

At least 248 people died after a devastating earthquake of magnitude 7.1 hit the city late on Tuesday, collapsing buildings and spreading panic on the anniversary of 1985 quake that claimed lives of 10,000 people. As per reports, about 49 buildings crumbled following the massive quake with rescuing teams retrieving nearly 20 million people. People trapped under the debris forwarded WhatsApp messages to families and relatives asking for help. While Mexico city recorded a death toll of 36, Morelos state witnessed 64 deaths. "I'm so worried. I can't stop crying. It's the same nightmare as in 1985," Georgina Sanchez, 52, sobbed to AFP in a plaza in the capital. Amamia Sanchez, a 45-year-old secretary cried out, "It's just not possible that this happened also on September 19."
Importantly, the powerful quake struck Mexico hours after city authorities had conducted an earthquake drill. "We ran outside thinking all was going to collapse around us," said Lazaro Frutis, a 45-year-old who escaped an office building before it crumbled to the ground. "The worst thing is, we don't know about our families or anything." "It was horrible," said resident Leiza Visaj Herrera, 27. "I didn`t want to get close under any tree. I had to hold onto the ground." Meanwhile, emergency officials warned citizens to avoid smoking as it could further ignite gas leaking from ruptured pipes. Jorge Lopez, a 49-year-old Spaniard living in Mexico City, said that he raced to the school in the central Roma district where his children aged six and three were in class. They were, however, rescued safely. "We arrived at the school and everyone was crying, everyone was frantic, and the kids were holding onto a rope," he said. "It`s uncontrollable. You can't do anything against nature." Patients were evacuated from a hospital in Roma district, wheeled out on beds and wheelchairs as staff set up makeshift wards outside. President Enrique Pena Neto took to Twitter to order the evacuation of damaged hospitals "and the transfer of their patients to other medical facilities."