Mexico’s president says 22 people have died at a school that collapsed in the nation’s capital due to Tuesday’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
President Enrique Pena Nieto said that two of the bodies found were adults.
It is not clear whether the deaths are already included in the overall toll of at least 226 across the country.
Pena Nieto visited the school late on Tuesday and said in comments broadcast online by Financiero TV that 30 children and eight adults were still reported missing.
Rescue workers were continuing to search and listening for sounds from the rubble.
Earlier the head of Mexico’s civil defence agency said the nationwide death toll from Tuesday’s earthquake has risen to 226.
Luis Felipe Puente said 55 people died in Morelos state, just south of the capital, while 49 died in Mexico City and 32 died in Puebla state, the location of the earthquake’s epicentre.
Ten people died in Mexico State, which surrounds the capital, and three in Guerrero state. The count did not include one death reported by officials in Oaxaca state.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the magnitude 7.1 quake was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he is saddened by the loss of life and damage resulting from the earthquake.
Mr Guterres extended his condolences to the government and people of Mexico and wished those injured a speedy recovery, according to a statement released by his spokesman.
The statement said the UN stands ready to assist Mexico following the quake.
Dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble or were severely damaged in densely populated parts of Mexico City and nearby states.
Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 places in the capital alone as high rises across the city swayed.
Hours after the earthquake, rescue workers were still clawing through the wreckage of a primary school that partly collapsed in the city’s south looking for any children who might be trapped.
The earthquake is the deadliest in Mexico since a 1985 tremor on the same date killed thousands. It came less than two weeks after another powerful earthquake caused 90 deaths in the country’s south.
Luis Felipe Puente, head of the national Civil Defence agency, tweeted on Tuesday night that the confirmed death toll had risen to 139.
He said 64 people died in Morelos state, just south of Mexico City, though local officials reported only 54.
In addition, 36 were killed in the capital, 29 in Puebla state, nine in the State of Mexico and one in Guerrero state, he said.
The count did not include one death that officials in the southern state of Oaxaca reported earlier as quake-related.
The federal government declared a state of disaster in Mexico City, freeing up emergency funds. President Enrique Pena Nieto said he had ordered all hospitals to open their doors to the injured.
Mr Mancera said 50 to 60 people were rescued alive by citizens and emergency workers in the capital. Authorities said at least 70 people in the capital had been hospitalised for injuries.
The federal interior minister, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, said authorities had reports of people possibly still being trapped in collapsed buildings. He said search efforts were slow because of the fragility of rubble.
‘It has to be done very carefully,’ he said. And ‘time is against us.’
The quake sent people throughout the city fleeing from homes and offices, and many people remained in the streets for hours, fearful of returning to the structures.
Source: Metro UK
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