Powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes central Mexico, cracking streets and collapsing buildings

At least 42 people are dead after a 7.1 magnitude hit central Mexico Tuesday afternoon on the 32nd anniversary of the biggest earthquake to ever strike the country’s capital.

According to the United States Geological Survey, the earthquake struck at about 2:14 p.m. ET near the town of Raboso in Puebla state. The 42 deaths occurred in the state of Morelos south of Mexico City, the state’s governor, Graco Ramirez, said in a tweet. He offered his condolences to the victims.

Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images
People react as a 7.1 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico City on September 19, 2017. An earthquake drill was being held in the capital at the time that today’s quake struck.

Tremors from the quake could be felt in Mexico City, about 76 miles northwest of the epicenter. Thousands of people on the capital’s main boulevard streamed out of buildings and into the street in panic, The Associated Press reported.

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.

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.

Video posted to Instagram showed a window panel falling from an office building in Mexico City.

Video filmed inside an office building showed the overhead lights swinging violently as the ground shook.

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.

Sashenka Guiterrez/EPA
Rescuers known as ‘Los Topos’ perform an honor guard to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the 8.0 magnitude earthquake that occurred on September 19, 1985, in Mexico City, Mexico. Moments later a 7.1 magnitude earthquake shook the area.
Jose Mendez/EPA
The Mexican flag flying at half mast in the Constitution Square to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the 8.0 earthquake that occurred on September 19, 1985, in Mexico City, Mexico.

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.

ABC News’ Ben…

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