Across central Mexico, rescue workers including soldiers and volunteers worked late into the night Tuesday to free the living who were still trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings following Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in more than 30 years.
The death toll from the 7.1 magnitude quake – which bizarrely occurred on the anniversary of a 1985 quake that left 5,000 dead – has climbed to 248, with more than half of those deaths occurring in the Mexican capital city. It also comes two weeks after another powerful quake left nearly 100 dead in Mexico City. The quake was unusually close to Mexico City, located just 60 miles south of the capital in Chiautla de Tapia, a small town in neighboring Puebla state, according to Mexico’s seismological service.
More are feared dead, including possibly dozens of teachers and schoolchildren feared buried in the rubble of a Mexico City school, one of hundreds of buildings that was destroyed by the quake, according to Reuters.
Additionally, several buildings collapsed in the chic neighborhoods of Roma and Condesa in central Mexico City, where many foreigners live. In Condesa, rescue workers scrambled to find eight to 10 people believed trapped under the debris of a building that collapsed near Mexico Park, one of the city’s most famous parks. Hundreds of volunteers formed a human chain to help clear rubble and bring food and water to rescue workers.
Mexico was also hit earlier this month by Hurricane Katia, which killed two. Even the Popocatépetl volcano southeast of the city sent a large cloud of ash into the sky on Tuesday. “This is too much. It’s like we’re cursed or something,” said Marcos Santamaría, a 62-year-old retiree.
Philippines and the United Nations have offered to support the recovery effort. At least 30 second-grade students are still missing, along with eight adults.
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