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Death toll reaches 149

UPDATE: 9:31 p.m.

A powerful earthquake shook central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing buildings in plumes of dust and killing at least 149 people. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

Dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 places in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed sickeningly.


UPDATE: 7:23 p.m.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says there are no reports of Canadian casualties following a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that killed dozens in Mexico.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centred near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 123 kilometres southeast of Mexico City.

Tuesday's earthquake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it occurred as Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands.

Calling the quake "devastating," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet that Canada is ready to help "our friends" in Mexico.

The Canadian Embassy in Mexico tweeted out an emergency phone number and email for any Canadians needing assistance.

And Global Affairs said it was closely monitoring the situation in Mexico and was ready to help.

"It is with sadness that we learned of the devastating earthquake in Mexico this afternoon," Freeland said in a statement Tuesday night.

"Canada sends its condolences to families and friends in mourning, and hopes for a speedy recovery for the injured," she said, adding Canada is ready to assist Mexico as needed and appropriate.


UPDATE: 4:35 p.m.

Death toll now up to 119 and growing, The Canadian Press reports.


UPDATE: 4:15 p.m.

CTV Vancouver reports that at least 104 people have been killed.


UPDATE: 3:50 p.m.

Death toll now up to 79 and growing, The Canadian Press reports.


UPDATE: 3:25 p.m.

At least 61 deaths are now reported in Mexico due to Tuesday's earthquake.


UPDATE: 3 p.m.

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, killing at least 55 people as buildings collapsed in plumes of dust. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.

The quake came less than two weeks after another quake left 90 dead in the country's south, and it occurred as Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands.

Dozens of buildings collapsed into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. A column of smoke rose from a structure in one central neighbourhood in the capital.

Morelos Gov. Graco Ramirez reported on Twitter that at least 42 people had died in his state south of Mexico City.

At least 11 others died in Puebla state, according to Francisco Sanchez, spokesman for the state's Interior Department.

Gov. Alfredo del Mazo told the Televisa news network that two people died in the State of Mexico, which also borders the capital: a quarry worker who was killed when the quake unleashed a rockslide and another person who was hit by a falling lamppost.

There were no immediate official reports of deaths in the capital, but journalists witnessed some people who had apparently died.

Rescue workers rushed to the site of damaged or collapsed buildings in the capital, and reporters saw onlookers cheer as a woman was pulled from the rubble.

Rescuers immediately called for silence so that they could listen for others who might be trapped.


ORIGINAL: 12:30 p.m.

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake jolted central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing some buildings, cracking the facades of others and scattering rubble on streets on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake.

The quake caused buildings to sway sickeningly in Mexico City and sent panicked office workers streaming into the streets, but the full extent of the damage was not yet clear. Mexican media broadcast images of several collapsed buildings in heavily populated parts of the city.

The U.S. Geological Survey calculated its magnitude at 7.1 and said it was centred near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometres) southeast of Mexico City.

Puebla Gov. Tony Galil tweeted that there had been damaged buildings in the city of Cholula including collapsed church steeples.

In Mexico City, thousands of people fled office buildings and hugged to calm each other along the central Reforma Avenue as alarms blared, and traffic stopped around the Angel of Independence monument.

In the Roma neighbourhood, which was struck hard by the 1985 quake, piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets. At least one large parking structure collapsed. Two men calmed a woman seated on a stool in the street, blood trickling from a small wound on her knee.

At a nearby market, a worker in a hardhat walked around the outside warning people not to smoke as a smell of gas filled the air.

Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, said she was in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck. She said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings. She was anxiously trying to locate her children, whom she had left in the care of her disabled mother.



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