But soon, they were experiencing exactly what happened 32 years prior. Buildings shook, dozens collapsed, and dust clouds formed in the sky. The injured were rushed to the hospital, but many are missing, trapped under the collapsed buildings. More than 200 people have lost their lives. Rescuers have been searching through the rubble of buildings, homes, and schools since yesterday, while more than 3,400 soldiers were deployed to affected areas, according to the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense. Thousands of volunteers, including college students, went out into the Mexico City streets to join the rescue crews and help clear the destruction.
Helpers provided food and water for families and handed out blankets. By nightfall, power shortages and blackouts led to more difficult rescue tasks. Soldiers and marines aided in the areas of the blacked-out streets. Public transportation shut down its operations after the quake blocked countless streets, and nearly 5 million people were still without power early Wednesday.
Tuesday’s earthquake came more than a week after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the southern coast of the country, killing more than 90 people. The back-to-back earthquakes seem to be a result of the rupture of fault lines on North America’s tectonic plate, according to Behzad Fatahi, associate professor of geotechnical and earthquake engineering at the University of Technology in Sydney.
The final death toll may not be known for weeks, but is expected to rise.
See the devastation in the photos above.