Update 8 (7:15 pm ET): Death toll from Mexico earthquake now at 119, according to state and city officials.
That makes it the deadliest to hit the country since the 1985 quake that, in an incredible coincidence, occurred exactly 32 years ago today, surpassing the death toll from another earthquake the shook the region less than two weeks ago.
* * *
Update 7 (6:50 pm ET): Mexico City government says 30 dead in capital, bringing nationwide total to 94, according to AP.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said that the number of buildings that collapsed has risen to 44, and that between 50 and 60 people have been pulled alive from rubble.
Horrifying videos of buildings crumbling into piles of rubble continue to emerge on Twitter.
— Pat Campbell (@PC1170) September 19, 2017
Journalists in Mexico City are sharing reports of ordinary citizens rushing to pull people from the rubble. Here’s more from the AP.
Carlos Mendoza was standing just blocks away when an apartment building collapsed in Mexico City’s trendy Roma neighborhood.
The 30-year-old joined the rescue efforts and said he has been able to pull two people alive from the rubble in three hours of work.
“When we saw this we came to help. This is ugly, very ugly,” he said, covered in dust.
Also in Roma, Alma Gonzalez was in her fourth floor apartment when the quake collapsed the ground floor of her building, leaving her no way out.
She was terrified until the people living in the neighboring house mounted a ladder on their roof and helped her slide out a side window.
“They helped us leave with a ladder,” Gonzalez said. “I think my father the Lord who has us here for some reason.”
…and more from the NYT:
Buildings also collapsed across the neighborhoods of Condesa, another fashionable district in the city constructed atop soft soil and extremely vulnerable to earthquakes. Outside, thousands and thousands stood in the streets, avenues and sidewalks, filling the popular neighborhoods with a sense of dread.
On Laredo Street, an entire eight-story apartment building had fallen into the road, leaving an enormous heap of concrete and rubble pouring into the street. At least 100 people stood atop the pile clearing it by hand, piece by piece, passing boulders and twisted steel pipes along a human chain that radiated from the heap like spokes.
Update 6 (6:30 pm ET): More than 3.8 million Mexicans are without power after today’s quake, while the death toll climbs to 79, according to the AP.
Here’s a particularly harrowing video of what looks like an old warehouse collapsing like a house of cards during the earthqake.
BREAKING VIDEO: MEXICO CITY DURING THE POWERFUL EARTHQUAKE MOMENTS AGO. pic.twitter.com/G5G9Ys64pD
— Breaking News Feed (@pzf) September 19, 2017
In another video, viewers can hear alarms ringing out across the city as smoke billows out of buildings.
Damn man the world is falling apart, today mi city got a worse earthquake than last week, 20+ buildings down and unknown number of peolple pic.twitter.com/8e8JfF7IET
— EliasNicolopulos (@MexicanSkydiver) September 19, 2017
…and here’s video of people stampeding out of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies…
— Alexander Hansen (@AlexanderXV) September 19, 2017
* * *
Update 5 (6 pm ET): The death toll has risen to 61, according to the Associated Press.
Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City. At least 11 others died in Puebla state, according to Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the state’s Interior Department. There were no immediate official reports of deaths in the capital, but anecdotal reports of deaths in Mexico City had begun to circulate.
One Mexico City resident described her experience to the AP:
Mariana Morales, a 26-year-old nutritionist, 26, was one many who spontaneously participated in rescue efforts.
She wore a paper face mask and her hands were still dusty from having joined a rescue brigade to clear rubble from a building that fell in a cloud of dust before her eyes, about 15 minutes after the quake.
Morales said she was in a taxi when the quake struck, and she out and sat on a sidewalk to try to recover from the scare. Then, just a few yards away, the three-story building collapsed.
Here’s another live feed:
Update 4 (5:14): President Nieto has confirmed that the death toll has risen to 53. EPN has declared a national state of emergency to deal with the aftermath of the quake.
Follow along with live coverage of the quake aftermath below:
Education Minister Aurelio Nuño tweeted “all public and private schools in Mexico City are cancelled until further notice.” He said schools in the states of Puebla and Guerrero also are closed until further notice.
Update 3 (5 pm ET): Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto will give a statement about today’s quake later tonight. In the meantime, he has urged people to stay off the streets. The water system in Puebla, the state where today’s earthquake was centered, has been damaged, according to media reports.
More footage and images of the quake are beginning to emerge, including this shot, taken by a drone camera, of a building collapsing in Mexico City. In a series of tweets, EPN warned residents returning to their homes to turn off the gas and close the door. He also noted that patients from damaged hospitals were being evacuated, and that Mexico’s IMSS and ISSSTE emergency services are open to the entire population.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 19, 2017
* * *
Update 2 (4:38 pm ET): The governor of the Mexican state of Morelos said at least 42 people have died in the central Mexican state, which shares a border with Puebla, the state that contains Mexico City. Counting the five confirmed deaths in the state of Puebla, the quake’s body count has risen to 47.
Meanwhile, the Mexican government has asked to restrict phone and internet use to emergency situations only as the Mexican military has arrived in the Roma and Condesa areas of the capital city.
*MEXICAN MILITARY ARRIVE IN ROMA, CONDESA AREA OF CAPITAL
*MEXICO GOV ASKS TO RESTRICT PHONE, INTERNET FOR EMERGENCIES
Mexico City’s governor says 27 buildings have collapsed…
*MEX. PRES SAYS 27 BUILDINGS IN MEX CITY HAVE COLLAPSED:TELEVISA
* * *
Update (4:05 pm ET): The BBC is reporting that several deaths have already been reported as a result of the quake. Reuters says at least five have been killed. The AP quoted Mexico City’s mayor as saying that there are reports of peole still trapped in collapsed buildings.
President Donald Trump has taken time out of his day of meetings at the UN to tweet his support: “God bless Mexico City. We are with you and we will be there for you.”
God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2017
Meanwhile, there are reports that tremors were felt as far away as Guadalajara, more than 300 miles away…
* * *
On the anniversary of a massive 1985 earthquake that killed at least 5,000 people, Mexico City has been shaken by another powerful earthquake, the second the shake the city in the past two weeks. The 7.1 magnitude quake shook buildings in the capital city, sending thousands rushing into the streets, according to Reuters.
The earthquake damaged hundreds of buildings in the city, according to initial reports. Ironically, the quake hit only hours after many people participated in earthquake drills around the nation – drills specifically timed to mark the anniversary of the 1985 earthquake.
The epicenter of the quake was 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles (51 km), Reuters reported, citing the US Geological Survey.
A powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico earlier this month, killing at least 98 people.
Accordin to the Associated Press, much of Mexico City is built on former lakebed, and the soft soil can amplify earthquakes even hundreds of miles away.
* * *