248 killed as powerful earthquake hits Mexico

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The U.S. Geological Survey says the 7.1 magnitude quake hit at 1-14 p.m. and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 123 kim southeast of Mexico City.

A powerful earthquake shook central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing buildings in plumes of dust and killing at least 248 people. Thousands fled into the streets in panic, and many stayed to help rescue those trapped.Dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states. Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 places in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed sickeningly.

The quake is the deadliest in Mexico since the 1985 temblor on the same date that killed thousands. It came less than two weeks after a quake caused 90 deaths in the country’s south.Luis Felipe Puente, head of the national Civil Defence agency, reported on Tuesday night that the confirmed death toll was raised to 226.

The official Twitter feed of Mr. Puente said early Wednesday that 117 people were confirmed dead in Mexico City, and 55 in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital. It said 39 were dead in Puebla state, where the quake was centered.

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