Hundreds killed in Mexico City earthquake

Hundreds killed in Mexico City earthquake

Hundreds of people have been killed following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake in Mexico.

As many as 226 people are currently feared to have died in the incident, which saw damage to more than 100 buildings in the centre of Mexico City.

Damage was also reported across neighbouring states.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said more than 20 children had died and 30 were missing after a school collapsed.

The epicentre of the quake was near Atencingo in Puebla state, about 120 kilometres from Mexico City, with a depth of 51 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said in a statement.

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According to the Mexican national co-ordinator for civil protection the death toll includes at least 55 people killed in Morelos state, south of the capital, and 39 reported killed in Puebla state.

A further one hundred and seventeen are also confirmed dead in Mexico City, with another 12 in Mexico State, and three in Guerrero.

Lives may have been saved as the tremor struck while many people took part in an earthquake drill.

The drill was taking place 32 years after a quake killed thousands in Mexico City.

About two million people in the capital were without electricity and phone lines are down.

In a televised address, the president said an emergency had been declared for the affected areas.

The military is being drafted in to help with the response, president Nieto added.

Colin Stewart, chairman of the Latin American Travel Association, said: “Our hearts go out to the victims of the earthquake.

“We are in constant contact with our LATA members who have passengers in Mexico and are closely monitoring the situation and working closely with their local ground handlers to ensure the welfare of all visitors.

“It is worth recognising that the top travel destinations in Mexico including Cancun, Yucatan, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit, Los Cabos, are completely unaffected by the earthquake and business continues as usual.”

LATA understands that Mexico City airport was closed temporarily, due to damage in one of the terminals, but has now reopened.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising travellers to contact your airline in the first instance if you are due to fly out to Mexico City on September 19th-20th – airlines such as Aeromexico, for example are allowing free route and date changes, for example.

Other airports in Mexico are unaffected; remain open and business continues as usual.

Image Courtesy: United States Geological Survey