Mexico Earthquake death toll rises to 217

There has been confusion on the exact toll on Wednesday morning as different numbers were put out. While the Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong had earlier put the toll at at least 226, but later it was revised up to 248 on Wednesday morning, before coming back down.

Utsav Saxena, inputs from Independent.co.uk

Central Mexico was struck by a 7.1 magnitude quake yesterday evening and a citywide recovery operation is currently underway in the capital. Some 86 people are thought to have died in the city itself.

Among those killed there were at least 20 children in a school, where buildings collapsed.

A mix of neighborhood volunteers, police and firefighters used trained dogs and their hands to search through the school’s rubble.

Reports swept through the crowd of anxious parents outside the gates that relatives in two families had received Whatsapp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed.

The rescue effort continued through the night, the work punctuated by cries of “quiet” so searchers could listen for any faint calls for help.

Dozens of buildings were felled by tremors on Tuesday, and power was knocked out for 40 per cent of Mexico City and 60 per cent of Morelos state, to its south. According to CNN Español, about four million people are without electricity.

It was the deadliest in Mexico since a 1985 quake on the same date killed thousands. It came less than two weeks after another powerful quake caused 90 deaths in the country’s south.

Mexico’s federal government has declared a state of disaster, meaning emergency funds are now available to help respond to the devastation.