At least five people are dead after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit Mexico leaving buildings shaking and sending people fleeing into the street.
The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of a devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985.
Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said.
Horrifying images coming out of the country’s capital show rubble strewn across roads and enormous chunks of collapsed buildings laying on the ground with hundreds of terrified locals fleeing onto the streets.
As structures fell around her, local resident Georgina Sanchez, 52, said: ‘I’m so worried. I can’t stop crying. It’s the same nightmare as in 1985.’
It comes just days after a powerful 8.1 quake hit Mexico killing at least 98 people.
The tremor hit just hours after emergency drills around the nation on the anniversary of a devastating quake that killed thousands in Mexico City in 1985
Locals are pictured clearing debris from the earthquake which left dozens of buildings collapsed
Traffic came to a standstill as masses of workers blocked streets while clouds of dust rose from fallen facades
The earthquake struck 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles
Streams of smoke were seen streaming from piles of collapsed buildings in the capital Mexico City
Mexicans were left shocked as the quake struck just hours after emergency drills
People fled for their lives after the earthquake struck the capital Mexico City
Today’s quake hit 5 miles southeast of Atencingo in the central state of Puebla at a depth of 32 miles, the US Geological Survey said
In the capital Mexico City, thousands of people streamed out of buildings into the streets in a panic filling the plaza around the Independence Monument with a mass of people.
Traffic came to a standstill as masses of workers blocked streets while clouds of dust rose from fallen facades.
Office workers were also seen hugging each other to calm themselves.
In the city’s Roma neighborhood small piles of stucco and brick fallen from building facades littered the streets.
Two men calmed a woman, blood trickling form a small wound on her knee, seated on a stool in the street, telling her to breathe deeply.
Lazaro Frutis, a 45-year-old who escaped an office building before it crumpled to the ground, said: ‘We ran outside thinking all was going to collapse around us.
‘The worst thing is, we don’t know about our families or anything.’
At a nearby market, a worker in a hard hat walked around the outside of the building, warning people not to smoke as a smell of cooking gas filled the air.
Market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, was caught up in the quake and said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings.
Mexico City’s international airport suspended operations with personnel checking the structures for damage. It is not immediately clear how many flights have been affected.
Earlier this month, an 8.1 magnitude quake struck off the coast of Chiapas killing at least 98 people.
Relief efforts in the south continued through Saturday, with many of the people worst affected still wary of returning indoors to weakened buildings, fearing they could be brought down by ongoing aftershocks.
Hurricane Katia pummeled the east coast on Saturday, wreaking more havoc across the country. The powerful storm even caused a mudslide in the city of Xalapa.
The hardest-hit area was Juchitan, Oaxaca, where a third of the city’s homes collapsed or were uninhabitable.
The remains of brick walls and clay tile roofs cluttered streets as families dragged mattresses on to pavements to spend another anxious night sleeping outdoors.
Members of the ‘Topos’ (Moles) specialised rescue team dug through piles of debris looking for folk’s loved ones and hoping to find some that were still alive.
Soldiers of the Army and Navy also joined in on the search and rescue, hoping to locate the bodies still missing in the wreckage.
Pena Nieto declared three days of national mourning when he first broke numbers on the deaths associated with the earthquake
The epicenter of the earthquake was 123km southwest of the town of Pijijiapan.