Mexico City Hit With 7.1 Earthquake Update: People Trapped In Collapsed Buildings, Dozens Of Deaths Reported

Pictures and videos that are posted online from the area of Mexico City that was hit by a powerful magnitude-7.1 earthquake on Tuesday afternoon are telling the story. The videos are showing plumes of smoke or dust rising from a widespread area of this city that is home to millions. Flights that were on their way to Mexico City are turning around in midair this afternoon, reports Fox News live coverage.

Update at 5:20 p.m. EST: While the death toll is at two inside Mexico City, the death toll is at 42 for the surrounding areas, bringing a preliminary number to 44 people dead in this quake. According to Fox News, this death toll is expected to rise as the collapsed buildings are searched, with people reported trapped inside. The New York Times is reporting “dozens dead” in this quake today.

Update at 4:35 p.m. EST.: Reports of collapsed buildings with people trapped in the rubble are now coming from Mexico City, reports Fox News live coverage. The death toll is at two, but it is expected to rise as people dig through the rubble caused by this powerful quake that sent thousands screaming into the streets Tuesday afternoon..

Back to the original story:

The Washington Post is reporting buildings swaying during the earthquake in the capital city of Mexico. This highly-populated city is home to 8 million people. This is the second earthquake to hit this country this month.

People ran out into the streets as the ground below them rumbled in a wave and the buildings around them were seen eerily swaying in this earthquake. Mexico City’s main boulevard is swarming with people as the earthquake sparked panic. Traffic is at a standstill in the city.

According to Fox News, the Associated Press is reporting buildings receiving “serious damage.” The United States Geological Survey reports this earthquake as a magnitude-7.1 event. Earlier reports put the quake at 7.4, but that was not the case. While 8 million people are in this city, there are 20 million who live in the surrounding areas of Mexico City.

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the biggest earthquake to ever hit Mexico City, which was back in 1985, and as the earthquake started today, people were practicing earthquake drills, according to the Washington Post.

The smoke seen on the videos coming from the areas in and around Mexico City are plumes of dust from pieces of building facades falling and not smoke from fires, reports Fox. This has been confirmed, the cable news channel reports.

The earthquake set off alarms and in a city this size, the noise of all the alarms blaring from cars and buildings is ear piercing. The center of the earthquake was near the town of Raboso, about 75 miles southeast of Mexico City.

The Los Angeles Times is reporting “severe damage to buildings” in Tuesday’s earthquake. The streets are filled with rubble from the facades falling off of buildings.

Inside homes and businesses, pictures fell from walls and computers toppled off desks. Reports indicate some people taking cover at their workplace under their desks as the earthquake rumbled.

With the smell of gas in the air in one area, people were told not to smoke as it is believed a gas line was damaged in the quake. There are no reports of casualties or serious injuries in the first hour of the earthquake reporting coming in from Mexico City.

[Featured Image by Rebecca Blackwell/AP Images]