21 School Children Dead After Massive 7.1 Earthquake Hits Mexico
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake devastated Mexico City, Mexico on Tuesday, killing over 100 including 21 school children.
According to The Guardian, 21 children died after the earthquake toppled parts of the Colegio Enrique Rebsamen. Eleven children were rescued, but at least 28 were still missing, the education secretary told the outlet. Four adults have been confirmed dead, according to the Guardian.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto told El Financiero, that 22 bodies were found, which included two adults.
“There are 30 children missing and eight adults reported missing,” he told the outlet in numbers that were different from those given by his education secretary.
Those outside of the school began making lists of children’s names, holding them up and sharing them on social media.
People escaped moving or collapsing buildings in a panic, filling the streets and watching as some buildings fell. In the aftermath, many remained standing and began rescue efforts by pulling aside fallen walls and roofs while trying to find anyone alive.
Shocking images and videos from the destruction reveal the extent of the damage from the violent quake with buildings reduced to rubble, others on fire and thousands of people flooding the streets after fleeing their homes.
At least 116 people died in the magnitude-7.1 earthquake, authorities confirmed according to multiple outlets. A majority of the casualties have been reported in Puebla, Morelos and Mexico states, and Mexico City.
The Associated Press reported dozens of buildings toppled into mounds of rubble, with at least 44 buildings falling apart in Mexico City alone.
The earthquake comes 32 years to the day after Mexico was hit with one of the deadliest earthquakes in it’s history in 1985, which killed thousands. The country was hit with another powerful earthquake, with a magnitude of 8.1, less than two weeks ago in southern west Mexico, near Acapulco.
The AP reports at least 30 died in Mexico City on Tuesday, while officials in Morelos said 54 died there. In the state of Puebla, 26 others died.
The Los Angeles Times reported that streets in the country’s capital were filled with survivors, holding suitcases, and standing with their dogs in the street.
Edgar Diaz, a 20-year-old architecture student at a Mexico City university, told the Los Angeles Times that he and others panicked when the quake happened.
“We all went running,” he said. “The staircases were swaying.”
After making sure his friends were all right, Diaz joined in rescue efforts, helping people clear the rubble of a collapsed apartment building.
“What’s important right now is saving lives,” he said.
Several Mexican citizens, whether they were living in Mexico City or surrounding states, shared videos of the surrounding destruction in the aftermath of the earthquake.
Jorge Ortiz Diaz, 66, a government employee, told The New York Times of the experience, saying, “It’s like Sodom and Gomorrah, like God is angry at us. Now is the moment when solidarity begins.”
President Enrique Peña Nieto told Foro TV that 27 buildings collapsed in the capital, about 75 miles from the epicenter.
Crumbling structures and smoke rising over the city can be seen in footage shared by TIME. The full extent of the damage remains to be seen.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences to Mexico, writing, “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.”
Former President Barack Obama also tweeted, writing, “Thinking about our neighbors in Mexico and all our Mexican-American friends tonight. Cuidense mucho y un fuerte abrazo para todos.”
Several other celebrities also shared their well wishes and prayers, including Malala Yousafzai, Victoria Justice, Ellen DeGeneres, Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell and Florida Governor Rick Scott — who is handling rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Irma swept through the state, leaving destruction in the Florida Keys and elsewhere.