Mexico Earthquake
Rescuers and volunteers search for survivors amid the rubble and debris of a multistory building flattened by a 7.1-magnitude quake on the eve, in Mexico City, on September 20, 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Anguish and desperation is taking over Mexico City after a 7.1 earthquake took the lives of more than 200 people.

Without resting importance to the other victims, the epicenter of operations was located at the Enrique Rébsamen elementary school, which collapsed, killing 25 people, 19 of them children. Even through the painful loss, the hope was still alive after the Mexican Secretariat of the Navy reported that a twelve-year-old girl was still alive under the rubble.

Using two tunnels at different points the rescuers spared no effort and used even the smallest resources to reach as soon as possible the girl, who according to them, was named Frida Sofía.

According to the information given by rescuers to news outlets covering in the area, Frida Sofía was located by means of a thermal scanner, adding that the girl had requested water and explained that she couldn't move because she was trapped inside the ruins.

After a few hours, a Senior Executive from the Mexican Navy, addressed the situation and denied that a girl was being sought. Admiral Jose Luis Vergara, Official Mayor of the Navy told Televisa at 11:00 a.m. that they were looking for a girl who was still alive. In the afternoon, Angel Enrique Sarmiento, Under Secretary of the Navy, informed that "11 minors have been rescued alive, and a total of 19 children lost their lives and six adults.”

He also said that "there are indications that a person may be alive." "We want to point out that the Secretary of Public Education and the Secretary of the Navy have made a count with the school and all the children have unfortunately died or are safe in their homes or in hospitals," he informed. He also said Frida Sofía never existed. "We are sure it wasn’t a reality," added Sarmiento.

It has been a long day, in which hundreds of security personnel, volunteers and rescue dogs teamed up with one thing in common, to try to save as many people alive before it's too late. The rescue team is concentrated in the lateral area, a zone that is currently a pile of concrete. "We dug holes, then crawled in on our bellies," volunteer rescue worker Pedro Serrano, a 29-year-old doctor, told The Associated Press.

"We managed to get into a collapsed classroom. We saw some chairs and wooden tables. The next thing we saw was a leg, and then we started to move rubble and we found a girl and two adults — a woman and a man.

As every minute counts in this rescue, silence is also necessary to carry out the operation successfully; volunteers raise their fists in silence to hear voices inside the debris and to get instructions from team leaders and officials in the area.

After the 1985 earthquake in Mexico, rescuers found people alive after a week, this time it is also expected that the miracle of finding survivors will be fulfilled.

Recommending that nobody enter damaged buildings and houses, as well as reviewing electrical and gas installations, President Enrique Peña Nieto added that "the priority at this time is to continue the rescue of those still trapped and to provide medical care to the injured."

On September 19, 2017, the National Seismological Service reported an earthquake in Mexico of 7.1 magnitude located in the state limit between the states Puebla and Morelos, about 7.4 miles southeast of Axochiapan, Morelos and 74.5 miles from Mexico City.

The National Coordinator of Civil Protection, Luis Felipe Puente, reported that the death toll for the 7.1 magnitude earthquake rose to 248. The Ministry of the Interior issued an extraordinary emergency state and reported that the epicenters of the earthquakes were in Axochiapan, Morelos, and Chiautla, Puebla.

They also reported that Mexico City registers the largest number of victims, with 117 deaths, while in the state of Morelos, 55 were reported to have died.

NOTE: The information contained in this report should not be considered final.

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