The deadly earthquake that rocked Mexico City: what we know

Frightening tragedy struck Mexico City Tuesday on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed thousands in and around the same city.

At 2:14 pm Eastern time, the US Geological Survey reported a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter some 100 miles away from the Mexican capital, near Puebla.


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At least 225 people were killed in the city and nearby states in the quake, according to the Associated Press. Among the victims: at least 21 children and four adults who were inside a school when it collapsed. Rescue efforts continued throughout Tuesday night and Wednesday, with crews often working in complete silence as to better hear victims calling out for help.

Thirty-two buildings collapsed in the city; 52 people have been rescued alive, Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said Wednesday. But people are still feared to be trapped inside the rubble.

Images and video from on the ground in Mexico City show buildings crumbling, thousands of people in the streets, and search and rescue efforts beginning in the immediate aftermath.

Some more hopeful stories have also emerged from the chaos: neighbors taking up the task of rescuing neighbors, crews working nonstop throughout the night to find victims in the rubble. There were also images of people holding their fists aloft signaling silence to listen for sounds of survivors buried in the wreckage.

On Wednesday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto declared three days of national mourning for the victims. But the impact of this tragedy is likely to span weeks and months, if not years.

Based on the size of the quake and its proximity to a high-density population center, the USGS automated earthquake reporting system predicted fatalities in the hundreds for this event. And costs could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.