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The frightening tragedy came on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed thousands in and around the city.

A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.1 struck Central Mexico on Tuesday, toppling dozens of buildings and killing at least 216 people in and around nearby states, and also  triggering an eruption of Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano. Many are still feared trapped inside the rubble of collapsed buildings as emergency crews and volunteers are trying to search for trapped survivors.

At 2:14 pm eastern time (11:44 am IST), the US Geological Survey reported a powerful 7.1 magnitude quake with an epicenter near the Puebla state of Raboso, about 122 km southeast of Mexico City.

It was the second major tragedy to hit Mexico in less than two weeks after another powerful quake killed 90 people in southern Mexico. The frightening tragedy came on the anniversary of a devastating 1985 earthquake that killed thousands in and around the city.

Nearly half of those killed are reported in the Mexico City, according to the Mexico’s civil protection agency chief, Luis Felipe Puente. He also took to twitter and called for people to mobilize and help those communities who are hit by earthquake.

“The priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and and to give medical attention to the injured people,” Mexican President Enrique Peña said in a video message.

“The buildings really moved back and forth. Of all the earthquakes I’ve lived through, this was the strongest. You never get used to this. It was such a fright,” a Pueblan resident was quoted as saying by local media.

The massive earthquake also generated at least 11 aftershocks, with the strongest reaching magnitude 4. Electricity and telephone services were also interrupted in many areas owing to the structural damage.

World leaders also expressed their sympathy and extended support to Mexico, which was still reeling from powerful quake which caused 90 deaths in southern Mexico.

“The Secretary-General is saddened by the loss of life and damage resulting from the earthquake that took place in Mexico today. He extends his condolences to the Government and people of Mexico and wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

Videos from Mexico quake on social media show building collapsing:

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