“My husband Leopoldo and my son Gerson!” a woman screamed, seemingly on the verge of fainting.
“They’re on the third floor, help me, please!” she implored rescue workers. “My family is trapped.”
María Luisa was standing outside one of several buildings that collapsed in the middle-class neighborhood of Colonia del Valle — around nine kilometers south of the city’s historic center — during yesterday’s 7.1-magnitude quake that shook central Mexico.
The newspaper Reforma reported that there were fears that several families were trapped in the rubble of two buildings on one street, Calle Escocia, that crumbled during the 1.14pm quake.
Some were among the rubble of a collapsed eight-story building while more were feared buried in the fallen debris of a nearby six-story building, the report said.
Hundreds of volunteers quickly arrived on the scene to begin the task of removing rubble to try to free people who were trapped. Hundreds more arrived with shopping carts filled with water, gloves, tools, hard hats, face masks and shovels.
With the aim of being able to hear the screams — or whimpers — of trapped survivors, volunteers shouted “Silence! Silence!” when firefighters on the scene requested it.
However, despite the efforts, Reforma reported that just two people were pulled alive from the rubble in the hours following the quake, although Mexico City Mayor Miguel Ángel Mancera has since reported that 45 people have been pulled out of wreckage from 45 collapsed buildings across the city.
Colonia del Valle in the borough of Benito Juárez is one of the worst affected neighborhoods of the capital, where at least 94 people have died.
The central borough of Cuauhtémoc was also badly affected with buildings collapsing in the neighborhoods of Roma, Condesa and the historic center. Significant damage was also recorded in the borough of Coyoacán where part of a school collapsed in the Coapa neighborhood killing 37, mainly children.
This morning there have been renewed requests for more supplies to be delivered to the sites of fallen buildings.
The death toll from the quake has continued to rise since 1.:14 pm yesterday afternoon, reaching 225 as of 9:00am.
Source: Reforma (sp)
— Periódico Excélsior (@Excelsior) September 19, 2017
Rescue teams at work in Mexico City.
— Pedro D Pérez (@pdalmacio01) September 19, 2017
A building sways during yesterday’s quake in Mexico City.