MEXICO CITY (ABC News) — More than 105 people are dead after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked central Mexico Tuesday afternoon, hitting on the 32nd anniversary of the biggest earthquake to ever strike the country’s capital.
The earthquake caused extensive damage to Mexico City, leveling at least 27 buildings, including homes, schools and office buildings, according to President Enrique Pena Nieto, who did a flyover of the city this afternoon. At least two children were trapped under rubble at the entrance of a school in Mexico City, according to local reports. Neighbors and volunteers were working to free them.
The earthquake struck at about 2:14 p.m. ET near the town of Raboso in Puebla state, according to the United States Geological Survey. Fifty-four of the deaths occurred in the state of Morelos south of Mexico City, the state’s governor, Graco Ramirez, said in a press conference. He offered his condolences to the victims. At least nine deaths occurred in the state of Mexico, the governor of Mexico state said in a tweet, and 26 occurred in the state of Puebla, the governor of Puebla said in a press conference.
Preliminary numbers show about 3.8 million customers are without power, Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission said.
Thousands of people on the capital’s main boulevard streamed out of buildings and into the street in panic after the quake struck, The Associated Press reported.
Se derrumba edificio en Alvaro Obregón, Condesa, CDMX
Huele a gas. Personas heridas salen del lugar pic.twitter.com/PDkeJHBfl5
— Ruido en la Red (@RuidoEnLaRed) September 19, 2017
Mexico City International Airport was damaged in the quake, according to reports on Twitter. Video posted on social media showed a giant crack blocking its entrance.
The airport tweeted that it expects operations to be suspended until 5 p.m. local time.
Photos and video posted to social media depicted the damage in Mexico City, which included collapsed structures and cracks in the streets.
Flames and a large explosion could be seen in a video posted on Twitter, while a window panel was spotted falling from an office building in Mexico City in footage posted on Instagram.
Video filmed inside an office building showed the overhead lights swinging violently as the ground shook.
— Alfonso Ruiz (@alfonsorup) September 19, 2017
— Milenio.com (@Milenio) September 19, 2017
Several cars were damaged by falling debris.
Earlier in the day, earthquake drills were held in Mexico City to mark the anniversary of the Michoacán earthquake of 1985, which caused widespread death and injuries as well as catastrophic damage in Mexico City.
While some accounts place the epicenter of the 1985 earthquake in the state of Michoacán, about 200 miles west of Mexico City and a region of tectonic tension between the North American Plate and the Cocos Plate, other place the epicenter off the coast in the Pacific Ocean.
Mexico City — built on a former lake bed — is one of the worst possible places for a earthquake to strike due to its soil, which can amplify shaking by factors of 100 or more, California-based seismologist Dr. Lucy Jones told ABC Los Angeles station KABC. By comparison, the worst conditions seen in Los Angeles during an earthquake is shaking amplified by a factor of five, Jones said.
Today’s earthquake comes 11 days after an 8.1 magnitude quake struck off Mexico’s southern Pacific coast, killing dozens of people.