In addition to the widespread destruction from Tuesday’s quake, the country was also grappling with power failures affecting millions of people. Mr. Peña Nieto said the authorities were trying to restore electricity to 40 percent of residents in Mexico City and 60 percent in Morelos.
In addition to the large number of bodies discovered in Mexico City and Morelos, people were also killed in the states of Guerrero, Mexico, Oaxaca and Puebla.
Mexico City’s mayor, Miguel Ángel Mancera, said buildings collapsed at 44 different locations in the capital, with many high rises swaying after the quake. The quake, which struck around 1 p.m. and was centered about 100 miles from the capital, triggered at least 11 aftershocks, further rattling residents of the capital and surrounding areas.
At the scene of the collapsed school, Colegio Enrique Rebsamen, in the southern part of the capital, the mood was one of anguish, as hundreds of volunteers clamored to unearth children they hoped to find alive. Dozens of workers carting megaphones called out contradictory instructions, while others yelled for resources like batteries, flashlights and diesel fuel.
The epicenters of Tuesday’s earthquake and a larger one on Sept. 7 were more than 400 miles apart, but they both occurred in a region where one of the earth’s crustal plates, the Cocos, is sliding beneath another, the North American.
Paul Earle, a seismologist with the United States Geological Survey, said it was too early to say whether there was any connection between the two quakes. Although the first was much stronger, the one on Tuesday was much closer to Mexico City, causing more damage in the capital.
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