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Cruel timing for new earthquake in Mexico

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A doctored newspaper graphic helps people in Yucatán communicate their friends abroad their distance from the earthquake.

Update at 8:34 a.m. EDT, Wednesday, Sept. 20:

The death toll has risen to 226 from Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

A government official confirmed that 117 people died in Mexico City as well as 55 in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital; and 39 in Puebla state, where the earthquake was centered.

In Mérida, far from the danger zone, city workers and volunteers are mobilizing to help Tuesday’s earthquake victims.

Several municipal dropoff centers are accepting donations of bottled water, blankets and other goods. And a private nonprofit, Yucatán Giving Outreach, A.C., already collecting hygiene kits for Chiapas and Oaxaca, are getting ready to turn their attention to Mexico City. More here.

Sept. 19:

At least 42 people were killed Tuesday afternoon in a magnitude-7.1 earthquake that struck central Mexico. Its epicenter was about 93 miles southeast of Mexico City in Puebla state.

Ironically, the quake hit on the anniversary of another deadly earthquake. Drills had been performed in Mexico City to mark the 1985 tragedy that killed thousands of people.

The quake follows an 8.1-scale temblor on Sept. 7. That was felt in Yucatán, 600 miles from its epicenter. This time, its reverberations were not reported to be felt on the Peninsula.

In upscale Condesa, in the heart of Mexico City, balconies crumbled and massive cracks opened up on apartment building facades. Another popular neighborhood, Roma, saw buildings swaying violently, sending rubble onto cars below.

Mexico City sits on an old lake bed that amplifies shaking, making it prone to major damage.

The quake is likely related to the earlier one in Oaxaca, said Susan Hough, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist.

With information from the Los Angeles Times

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