MEXICO CITY – The death toll from Mexico’s Sept. 19 earthquake has climbed to 358 following the discovery of several bodies amid the rubble of a collapsed building in this capital, authorities said on Friday.
In updating the preliminary death toll from the magnitude-7.1 temblor, national Civil Protection Coordinator Luis Felipe Puente said most of the fatalities – 217 – had occurred in Mexico City.
Rescue teams, including Spain’s Military Emergencies Unit, are still working in the wreckage of the building located at 286 Alvaro Obregon Ave., in the capital’s Roma neighborhood, in a search for bodies.
Several corpses have been located under the rubble in recent hours, including the body of Spaniard Jorge Gomez Varo, who was on the second floor of that six-story building when it was toppled by the quake.
The earthquake, which struck on the 32nd anniversary of the devastating 1985 temblor that killed thousands in Mexico City, also left 141 people dead in nearby states: 74 in Morelos, 45 in Puebla, 15 in Mexico, six in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca.
Mexico also was hit by a magnitude-8.2 earthquake on Sept. 7 that left 98 dead in southern Mexico and a magnitude-6.1 temblor on Sept. 23 (considered an aftershock of the Sept. 7 quake) that is blamed for four deaths – two in Mexico City and two in the southern town of Asuncion Ixtaltepec.
Preliminary government estimates indicate the cost of rebuilding homes, schools and historic buildings damaged by the earthquakes will exceed 38 billion pesos (some $2.1 billion).