At least 248 people died in Mexico City — the country’s capital — and in the states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos, officials said.
The epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake was 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles (55 km) south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state, according to the US Geological Survey.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said 22 bodies were found in the debris of an elementary school in Mexico City that collapsed due to the earthquake. At least 30 children were still missing Tuesday night, he said.
“We are facing a new national emergency,” Peña Nieto told citizens earlier on his first address following the earthquake.
Tuesday’s earthquake came more than one week after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck off the southern coast
of the country, killing at least 90, according to the governor of the hard-hit state of Oaxaca.
In Mexico City, thousands of soldiers, rescuers and civilians — including college students — were working side by side to dig through tall piles of rubble from dozens of crumbled buildings.
Some carried away buckets full of debris while others called out the names of those who have been rescued. At times, rescuers asked for total silence as they tried to hear voices coming from under the debris.
The quake left the busiest city in Mexico in chaos. Windows buckled and shattered, falling several stories to the ground while thousands of people streamed into the streets running away from buildings and potential gas leaks.
People struggled to get home when power poles that toppled in the quake blocked the streets and the public transportation system temporarily shut down operations. Nearly 5 million customers were still without power early Wednesday.