Death toll rises to 226 from Mexico earthquake

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The latest on the strong earthquake that hit Mexico City (all times local):

12:55 a.m.

Mexico’s civil defense agency says the death toll has risen to 226 from Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake that knocked down dozens of buildings in Mexico City and nearby states.

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

Twelve people died in Mexico State, which surrounds the capital, and three in Guerrero state. The count does not include one death reported by officials in Oaxaca state.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude 7.1 quake was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

12:45 a.m.

The Philippines says the powerful earthquake that rocked central Mexico has badly damaged its embassy in Mexico City, but the staffers were unhurt and there are so far no reports of casualty among the 60 members of the Filipino community in Mexico City.

It is also offering its sympathy to Mexico following Tuesday’s powerful earthquake that killed at least 149 people and collapsed dozens of buildings in the capital and nearby states.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella says: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mexico, especially the bereaved families, who were hit and affected by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake.”

Philippine Ambassador to Mexico Eduardo de Vega says he and the embassy staff rushed out of the building when debris started falling and they all escaped unhurt. The Philippine Embassy occupies the first two floors of an eight-story office building in Mexico city’s Cuauhtemoc neighborhood.

11:55 p.m.

Mexico’s president has issued a video statement urging people to stay calm in the aftermath of the powerful magnitude 7.1 earthquake that toppled dozens of buildings in Mexico City and in nearby states.

President Enrique Pena Nieto said in the message issued late Tuesday night that many people will need help, but the initial focus has to be on finding people trapped in wrecked buildings.

In his words, “The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people.”

Pena Nieto said that as of late Tuesday 40 percent of Mexico City and 60 percent of Morelos state have no electricity.

The earthquake occurred…

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