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Mexico: Strong earthquake kills dozens

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A strong earthquake has struck central Mexico, killing at least 60 people and toppling dozens of buildings in the capital, Mexico City, officials say.

The capital’s airport has suspended operations after the 7.1 magnitude quake, and buildings across the city have been evacuated.

People were feared trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings as rescue teams rushed to the hardest-hit areas.

Earlier this month, a strong 8.1 magnitude tremor left at least 90 dead.

The epicentre of the quake was next to Atencingo in Puebla state, about 120km (75 miles) from Mexico City, with a depth of 51km, the US Geological Survey said.

At least 42 people were killed in Morelos state alone, south of the capital. Four people are confirmed dead in Mexico City, with another eight in Mexico State and six reported killed in Puebla state.

The tremor happened as an earthquake drill was being held in Mexico City, on the 32nd anniversary of a quake that killed up to 10,000 people.

The prolonged tremor hit at 13:14 local time (18:14 GMT) and sent thousands of residents into the streets.

President Enrique Peña Nieto urged people to avoid the streets so emergency services could easily reach the most affected areas.

Phone lines were down in parts of the capital, and 3.8 million people were without power in affected areas.

Panic on the streets

By Juan Paullier, BBC News, Mexico City

Mexico City is a city all too used to earthquakes. But this tremor, on the anniversary of another one that left thousands dead in 1985, was especially powerful.

It sent thousands of people into the streets, trembling, shaking, crying, and trying to reach their loved ones by phone.

As time passes it is becoming clear that there are going to be many victims. In the capital alone, about 30 buildings collapsed.

In one of the worst-affected areas I saw dozens of people desperately removing rubble because they believed someone was trapped.

US President Donald Trump tweeted: “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”

bbc.com

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