Following the devastating earthquake measuring 7.1 in magnitude that struck Mexico yesterday at 13:14 local time, many—over 200 people at the time of writing—are feared either dead or trapped in collapsed buildings or unsafe structures. While rescue efforts continue and information surrounding the scope of devastation is preliminary, schools are closed indefinitely and major companies and organizations have requested their employees not to work.
The death toll continues to rise while ArchDaily México, which is located in Mexico City, reports wide-reaching destruction of the built fabric of the capital. Footage captured by terrified residents show the final moments of buildings—many taller than four stories—that were reduced to dust and debris in seconds.
People, these images coming back from Mexico City are horrifying.— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) September 19, 2017
All my love and thoughts going Mexico 🇲🇽.pic.twitter.com/EsUHaSmS6W
Yesterday's earthquake hit on the 32nd anniversary of the 8.0 magnitude "Mexico City Earthquake" which struck the country on September 19, 1985, burying around 10,000 beneath the rubble of toppled buildings. According to CNN, residents of the capital had been involved in a large-scale annual emergency disaster simulation and evacuation that morning. Following the advice of radio, television, phone and loudspeakers alerts citizens left their homes and places of work to designated safe zones; around two hours later were they confronted by a genuine and rapidly unfolding disaster.
According to the BBC, President Peña Nieto of Mexico has announced that "more than twenty children and two adults had been found dead at the collapsed Enrique Rébsamen elementary school in [the capital's] southern Coapa district." Another 30 children and eight adults were missing, he added. In addition, Popocatepetl volcano has erupted; a nearby church collapsed during Mass as a result, killing fifteen.
En el piso 38 en pleno Reforma. pic.twitter.com/zuCIke0kc9— Gustavo Serrano 〽️ (@gooz25) 19 de septiembre de 2017