Collapsing buildings and power outages reported after earthquake south of Mexico City
(NBC News) -
A powerful earthquake jolted central Mexico Tuesday, cracking building facades and scattering rubble on streets in the capital on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake.
The quake caused buildings to sway in Mexico City sending panicked office workers streaming into the streets.
The full extent of the damaged was not immediately clear.
The US Geological Survey said the quake had a magnitude of 7.1 and was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City.
Thousands of people fled office buildings, hospitals and government buildings many of them hugging each other as they stood on the streets.
Reports have begun to emerge of serious damage to buildings in the capital and elsewhere as local television stations broadcast images of collapsed structures.
Earlier in the day workplaces across the city held preparation drills on the anniversary of the 1985 quake, which was magnitude 8.1, devastating large parts of Mexico City and killed thousands of people.
Much of Mexico City is built on former lakebed, and the soil is known to amplify the effects of earthquakes even hundreds of miles away.
Thousands of people fill Paseo de la Reforma after evacuating from their buildings after earthquake in Mexico City region. pic.twitter.com/h0jSq4Y2oL