MEXICO CITY – Frantic search . . . Mexican authorities continue to hold out hope

MEXICO CITY – The Mexico City government says 52 people have been rescued from the rubble of collapsed buildings in the capital following Tuesday’s powerful earthquake.

The city’s Social Development Department tweeted the number Wednesday afternoon and added: “We won’t stop.”

The quake has killed at least 225 people in several states, and rescue efforts are continuing furiously, including at a primary and secondary school where 25 bodies have been found.

At least 21 children and five adults have died at a primary school the government says.

The shallow, 7.1 magnitude quake caused major damage across states in the centre of the country.

Desperate searches for survivors under the rubble are continuing.

Hopes rose at the school when a girl was located alive and a delicate operation to rescue her is under way, workers have been trying to extricate her for hours now.

Dozens of buildings collapsed across the country, including several churches where worshippers were killed.

Families with young children could be seen sleeping outside their homes in the street in the capital overnight.

The tremor struck shortly after many people had taken part in an earthquake drill, exactly 32 years after another quake killed thousands in the capital.

Mexico is prone to earthquakes and earlier this month an 8.1 magnitude tremor in the south left at least 90 people dead.

Though it struck a similar region, Tuesday’s earthquake does not appear to be connected with the quake on 7 September, which was at least 30 times more energetic.

Enrique Rébsamen primary school, in Mexico City’s southern Coapa district, collapsed.

Confirming the death toll, Education Minister Aurelio Nuño? said 11 people had been rescued while two children and an adult were still missing.

Local media had reported a higher death toll earlier.

More than 500 members of the army and navy, along with 200 police officers and volunteers, have been working at the site, Mexican newspaper Milenio says.

More details of the girl located on Wednesday have not been given. Rescuers detected her after she moved her hand and a hose was lowered through the debris to supply her with water, Reuters news agency reports.

At least 209 schools were affected by the quake, 15 of which have suffered severe damage.

The epicentre of the latest quake was near Atencingo in Puebla state, about 120km (75 miles) from Mexico City, with a depth of 51km, the US Geological Survey says.

The prolonged tremor hit at 13:14 local time (18:14 GMT) on Tuesday and sent thousands of residents into the streets.

Most of the victims died in the capital, according to government figures:

• Mexico City: 94 dead

• Morelos state: 71 dead

• Puebla state: 43 dead

• Mexico state: 12 dead

• Guerrero: 4 dead

• Oaxaca: 1

Fifteen people were killed when a church near Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano collapsed during Mass. The volcano itself had a small eruption as a result of the tremor.

In Atzala, Puebla, another church collapsed during a baptism, killing 11 people including the baby, Church officials told Efe news agency.

Alfredo del Mazo Maza, governor of the State of Mexico, said schools would be closed on Wednesday. He also ordered all public transport to operate services for free so that people could travel home.

Mexico City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, with more than 20 million people living in the metropolitan area.

Source: (BBC)

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