Mexico City has been rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that struck near the state of Puebla. The shaking from today’s quake was so violent that buildings collapsed in the capital city. Several fires from leaking gas lines were also reported. There is still very little information on the state of the impacted area as rescue efforts are underway to save those that are trapped in collapsed buildings. As of the time of this post, the death toll is up to 79 people. Today also marks the 32nd anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Mexico City in 1985, which killed 10,000 people and injured 30,000. Here is what we know so far.
The United States Geological Survey reported a 7.1 magnitude earthquake close to Izúcar de Matamoros, Mexico.
— NBC News (@NBCNews) September 19, 2017
Izúcar de Matamoros is about a three-hour drive to Mexico City. The strength of the earthquake shook the capital city, which is about 80 miles from the epicenter.
The earthquake violently shook parts of Mexico, just 11 days after Oaxaca and Chiapas were devastated by their own earthquake.
El sismo en Xochimilco, terrible. pic.twitter.com/tF3QaRbyPt
— Carlos Vinicio (@CarlosVinicioAR) September 19, 2017
According to ABC News, Paul Earle, a seismologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said that the earthquake today is too far removed in time to be an aftershock of the Oaxaca/Chiapas earthquake that left more than 90 people dead.
Earlier in the day, businesses and buildings around Mexico City held earthquake evacuation drills as part of the anniversary of the 1985 quake.
— Tijuanalandia (@Tijuanalandia) September 19, 2017
Only a couple hours after the drill, a real earthquake sent shockwaves through the city that sits on a lakebed.
There are reports of buildings collapsing all over Mexico City, which is built on a lakebed leaving buildings susceptible to sinking and collapsing during earthquakes.
— Sr Limbo (@SrLimbo) September 19, 2017
The Los Angeles Times reports that the soil in the lakebed has the ability to amplify the effects of an earthquake even if it is hundreds of miles from the city.
Mexicans were left speechless and shaken as buildings continued to collapse.
OMG, dowtown Mexico City was serioulsy hit by the earthquake. Several buildings collapsed, Fire reports are coming. Please stay safe. pic.twitter.com/1p0F4uDiYz
— Miguel Flole (@miguelflole) September 19, 2017
ABC News reports that there are more than 20 buildings that have collapsed around Mexico City and crews are working to save those trapped under the rubble.
Broken gas lines have led to explosions in damaged buildings adding to the chaos and destruction in the city.
Video captures building exploding after a 7.1 Earthquake strikes Mexico City. Please pray for Mexico. pic.twitter.com/tOytBnYQuR
— Mauricio Cantu (@mcantu06) September 19, 2017
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was on a flight to Oaxaca when the earthquake started and has announced his immediate return to Mexico City, according to Twitter. He has also announced a meeting of the National Committee of Emergencies and has activated Plan MX. Plan MX is a national plan that, when enacted, coordinates all national agencies to respond in the face of a disaster to reduce response time and minimize losses, according to documents of Secretaría de Gobernación.
Crews are working to assess the damage and losses caused by the earthquake.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 19, 2017
Keep your thoughts and prayers with Mexico. We will update this story as we learn more.