MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (CBSMiami) – A major 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Mexico City on Tuesday, killing over 100 people, according to government officials.
Buildings were seen collapsing following the earthquake which rattled the area around 2 p.m. People are believed to be trapped in some of the collapsed buildings.
The nationwide death toll rose to 139 on Tuesday evening, according to Mexico’s head of Civil Defense, and the Mexican federal government declared a state of disaster in Mexico City which helps free up emergency funds.
Thousands of casualties are expected after the earthquake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The epicenter of the earthquake was in Raboso which is about 76 miles away from Mexico City, USGS says.
Other areas near the epicenter include Puebla, Izúcar de Matamoros, Atencingo and Atlixco. They are all heavily populated with more than a million people. Mexico City has about 20 million.
Today marks the anniversary of a 1985 earthquake in Mexico that killed thousands and heavily damaged their capital.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto says he, along with their National Committee of Emergencies, are evaluating the situation. He has ordered all hospitals damaged in the earthquake to evacuate their patients.
Those in the area took to social media to show the scenes coming out of Mexico:
— Hiram Almeida E. (@hiramalmeidae) September 19, 2017
— Sr Limbo (@SrLimbo) September 19, 2017
— Guido Mastrangelo (@GuidoGma) September 19, 2017
— Joaks Oficial TWEET (@juaquingerardo) September 19, 2017
— Mariana Ceruti C. (@MarianaCeruti) September 19, 2017
Tuesday’s earthquake happened 12 days after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck offshore in southern Mexico – near Chiapas.
Mexico is a very seismically active area, according to USGS. Mexico is located near the Cocos and North America plates in the region. The area near the epicenter has experienced about 19 other earthquakes with at least a 6.5 magnitude.