By Miriam Raftery
Photo: Policia Federal Mexico via Twitter
September 20, 2017 (San Diego) – A powerful 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City yesterday, 32 years to the day that a 1985 quake killed 9,500 people and destroyed 100,000 homes in Mexico City. Since then, the city has made major efforts to improve earthquake safety standards.
Thus far, the death toll stands at 225 people in yesterday’s quake, including at least 21 children and four adults at the Enrique Rebesamen school in Mexico City, which collapsed. Rescue efforts continue, with another 30 children and eight adults still missing at the school, USA Today reports. The death toll includes 94 in Mexico City, as well as fatalities in Morelos, Puebla, and Oaxaca. Hundreds more are injured.
This quake comes on the heels of an 8.1 quake off the southern coast of Mexico just two weeks ago, as well as a hurricane that caused damage on Mexico’s Eastern shore.
Yesterday’s earthquake has left about 40% of Mexico City and 60% of nearby Morelos state without power.
Cell phone companies have been providing free service immediately after the quake. Authorities are asking people to keep phone lines open for emergency calls and to use SMS messaging, WhatsApp or social media instead to check on family or friends in the impacted areas, according to Reporting San Diego.
Mexican President Pena Nieto has declared three days of national mourning, while rescue efforts continue. U.S. President Donald Trump also Tweeted condolences to the Mexican people.