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A powerful earthquake has shaken central Mexico, collapsing buildings in plumes of dust and killing at least 217 people.
Dust-covered and exhausted from digging, 30-year-old Carlos Mendoza said two people were pulled alive from the ruins of a collapsed apartment building in the Roma Sur neighbourhood during a three-hour period.
"When we saw this, we came to help," he said, gesturing at the destruction. "This is ugly, very ugly."
Blocks away, 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 her neighbors mounted a ladder on their roof and helped her slide out a side window.
Vía @BuzzFeedNewsMex: Esta ferretería en Condesa, decidió donar equipo para ayudar en los rescates por el sismo pic.twitter.com/UcRkDSVV0R— Webcams de México (@webcamsdemexico) September 20, 2017
Vía @BuzzFeedNewsMex: Esta ferretería en Condesa, decidió donar equipo para ayudar en los rescates por el sismo pic.twitter.com/UcRkDSVV0R
Pope Francis has led tens of thousands of people in prayer for the victims of the Mexico earthquake.Francis acknowledged many Mexican pilgrims were on hand for his weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.
Speaking to them in Spanish, Francis add-libbed a prayer, saying: "In this moment of pain, I want to express my closeness and prayer to the dear Mexican people."
He urged prayers for victims, their families and rescue crews.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office says it has received a request for assistance from Mexico following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, and that it will be dispatching a search-and-rescue team as soon as possible.
Israel's Foreign Ministry says a team of approximately 60 people, mostly engineers and search-and-rescue personnel from the military's Home Front Command, will be dispatched Wednesday afternoon to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake, which is known to have killed almost 250 people.
The head of Mexico's national Civil Defense Agency has lowered the number of confirmed dead in Tuesday's earthquake to 217.
Luis Felipe Puente says on his Twitter account that at least 86 people died in Mexico City, 71 in Morelos state, 43 in Puebla, 12 in the State of Mexico, four in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca.
He gave no explanation for the lower toll after earlier reporting 248 confirmed deaths.
21 schoolchildren among more than 200 dead in powerful Mexico quakeMexico City - At least 216 people were killed when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, including 21 children crushed beneath an elementary school that was reduced to rubble.
Mexico City - At least 216 people were killed when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, including 21 children crushed beneath an elementary school that was reduced to rubble.
Medics have set up makeshift field hospitals in the streets, treating people for broken limbs and crush injuries.
Many people lay on stretchers, with medics holding strips of cardboard boxes over victims' heads to protect them from the sun.
Where a six-story office building collapsed in Mexico City, sisters Cristina and Victoria Lopez Torres formed part of a human chain passing bottled water.
"I think it's human nature that drives everyone to come and help others," Cristina Lopez said.
"We are young. We didn't live through '85. But we know that it's important to come out into the streets to help," said her sister Victoria.
One of the most desperate rescue efforts was at a primary and secondary school in southern Mexico City, where a wing of the three-story building collapsed into a massive pancake of concrete slabs. Journalists saw rescuers pull at least two small bodies from the rubble, covered in sheets.
A mix of neighborhood volunteers, police and firefighters used trained dogs and their bare hands to search through the school's rubble. The crowd of anxious parents outside the gates shared reports that two families had received Whatsapp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed.
The rescue effort was punctuated by cries of "Quiet!" so searchers could listen for any faint calls for help.
Police, firefighters and ordinary Mexicans are digging frantically through the rubble of collapsed schools, homes and apartment buildings, looking for survivors of Mexico's deadliest earthquake in decades as the number of confirmed fatalities climbed to 248.
Adding poignancy and a touch of the surreal, Tuesday's magnitude-7.1 quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands.
Just hours earlier, people around Mexico had held earthquake drills to mark the date.
Terrifying #explosion during 7.1 magnitude #Mexico #earthquakehttps://t.co/FOSXpXwlqS pic.twitter.com/AYtRpmbzUK— Yeni Safak English (@yenisafakEN) September 20, 2017
Terrifying #explosion during 7.1 magnitude #Mexico #earthquakehttps://t.co/FOSXpXwlqS pic.twitter.com/AYtRpmbzUK
Some of the deadliest earthquakes in Mexico since 1985
Dog being rescued from the rubble in #Mexico ???????????? pic.twitter.com/6XUAx1wk0T— Pablo Lerdo deTejada (@Pablo_Lerdo) September 19, 2017
Dog being rescued from the rubble in #Mexico ???????????? pic.twitter.com/6XUAx1wk0T
President Enrique Pena Nieto said in the message issued late Tuesday night that many people will need help, but the initial focus has to be on finding people trapped in wrecked buildings.
In his words, "The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people."
Video of the moment #earthquake hit #Mexico #FuerzaMexico #mexicoearthquake #MexicoQuake pic.twitter.com/V3PekNkxxc— WorldWide Weird News (@www__news) September 20, 2017
Video of the moment #earthquake hit #Mexico #FuerzaMexico #mexicoearthquake #MexicoQuake pic.twitter.com/V3PekNkxxc
#mexicoearthquake #MexicoCity #Mexico Students and Teachers evacutaing the Campus , Horrific Footage pic.twitter.com/iMmk2qt9Jx— Bagar Billa (@BillaBagar) September 20, 2017
#mexicoearthquake #MexicoCity #Mexico Students and Teachers evacutaing the Campus , Horrific Footage pic.twitter.com/iMmk2qt9Jx
One of the most gut-wrenching scenes was at the Enrique Rebsamen primary school on Mexico City's south side, whose three floors collapsed into one, trapping students and teachers inside.
Twenty-one children and four adults were killed, said deputy education minister Javier Trevino.
President Enrique Pena Nieto, who rushed to the site, warned the death toll could rise."There are 30 children and eight adults still missing. Rescue operations are ongoing," he told journalists.
PICS: Scramble as deadly quake splits road outside Mexico City Airport(Twitter) Mexico City - Mexico City International Airport (MEX) suspended operation for several hours on Tuesday after a deadly 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the the country's capital.
(Twitter) Mexico City - Mexico City International Airport (MEX) suspended operation for several hours on Tuesday after a deadly 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the the country's capital.
Mexico's civil defense agency says the death toll has risen to 226 from Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake that knocked down dozens of buildings in Mexico City and nearby states.
The official Twitter feed of agency head Luis Felipe Puente said early Wednesday that 117 people were confirmed dead in Mexico City, and 55 died in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital.
It said 39 are dead in Puebla state, where the quake was centered.
Twelve people died in Mexico State, which surrounds the capital, and three in Guerrero state.
UPDATE: Over 200 killed as 7.1 magnitude quake destroys buildings in MexicoMexico City - A powerful earthquake shook central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing buildings in plumes of dust and killing at least 226 people.
Mexico City - A powerful earthquake shook central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing buildings in plumes of dust and killing at least 226 people.
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