Death toll rises as Mexico counts cost of latest earthquake

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By Robert Hackwill
Death toll rises as Mexico counts cost of latest earthquake

The full extent of the earthquake to hit near Mexico City is beginning to emerge after the 7.1 magnitude quake levelled buildings and triggered panic.

More than 200 people are feared dead but the varying death count over the last few hours is likely to rise, say the authorities.

It is already the deadliest such disaster to hit the country in more than 30 years.

“I want to express my condolences to those who have lost family members and loved ones. Mexico shares your pain. At this moment, 40 percent of Mexico City and 60 percent of Morelos state have no electricity. We have reinforced teams from the electricity commission to re-establish power quickly. Also, shelters have been set up to house those who need it,” Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto told the nation.

This is the second strong earthquake to hit Mexico in as many weeks, and it appears to have awakened at least one volcano.

Improvised citizen’s brigades are helping rescue services, many working with their bare hands clearing rubble and calling for quiet when they hear voices trapped underneath. Witnesses say that while in some areas the official response is well-organised, in others it is chaos.