Hundreds of buildings toppled in deadly Mexico earthquake

The grim search for survivors including schoolchildren continued in Mexico today after yesterday’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake toppled hundreds of buildings in centre of the country, including many the capital, Mexico City.

The official death toll had reached 217 by the time of reporting, with much attention focussed on a collapsed school in the capital that buried dozens of children. Twelve children and two adults at the school had been confirmed dead with 30 children and 12 adults reported missing, said Reuters.

The prolonged tremor hit at 13:14 local time on Tuesday with the epicentre near Atencingo in Puebla state, about 120km from Mexico City, reports the BBC.

Residents of Mexico City, a conurbation of some 20 million people, slept in the streets last night and 40% of homes were without power, said Reuters.

Eighty-six people were reported dead in the capital, with more dead in cities and town surrounding the epicentre.

It is the second quake to hit Mexico this month. On 7 September a more powerful, 81-magnitude quake struck in the south of the country killing an estimated 100 people.

Yesterday’s quake struck 32 years to the day after the devastating 1985 quake that killed thousands in Mexico City.

Image: Rescuers work in the rubble in Mexico City after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck on 19 September 2017 (Rafael S. Fabres/Getty Images)

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  1. It is time engineers start considering seismic and foundation restrains to combat earthquake magnitudes of 7.1-magnitude or more such that befell Mexico City. Either to impose more safety factors in seismic calculations, I know earthquakes cannot be prevented, but engineers should be able to provide tools through more studies that can be used to reduce the damages and loss of lives. In addition, engineers considerable accuracy and efforts , where earthquakes are likely to occur and what forces they will generate can precisely integrated into designs to avoid potential catastrophes. The design and construction techniques should be regulated through statutory building regulations agency so that buildings and other structures can survive the tremendous forces of earthquakes. Earthquake don’t kill, it is the collapsing infrastructures that kills.

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