Photo Credit: US Geological Survey
September 19, 1985 Mexico City earthquake, Nuevo Leon fifteen-story reinforced concrete structure. Part of the building was only slightly damaged, while another part of it collapsed.

At least 224 were killed Tuesday when a powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck Puebla, Morelos and Mexico states in addition to Mexico City, toppling 27 buildings in the capital, panicking residents and knocking out power to some 3.8 million customers.

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The depth was 32 miles is about 51 kilometers. A CNN meteorologist said “anything below 70 kilometers is considered a shallow quake. That’s important because shallow earthquakes often cause the most damage. . . But this was also a relatively strong earthquake.”

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted his support to the people of Mexico, saying America will “be there” for the traumatized citizens.

The temblor took place on the anniversary of a major earthquake that rocked the area in 1985 – an event that ironically had prompted an earthquake drill in buildings across the city earlier in the day.

The epicenter of Tuesday’s quake was identified at some 75 miles southeast of Mexico City, in the state of Puebla, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Local television stations broadcast images of people fleeing into the streets, where rubble and collapsed walls were seen.

Most of Mexico’s 40,000-strong Jewish population lives in Mexico City, with many Mexican Jews tracing their ancestry back hundreds of years.

Mexico abstained in the November 29, 1947 partition vote at the United Nations to determine whether to establish the State of Israel, but subsequently recognized Israel on April 4, 1952, with both countries opening embassies in each others’ nations soon after.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Jewish leaders in the city when he visited the country in his historic visit to Latin America last week.

Since Israel’s 2000 free trade agreement with Mexico, the latter has become Israel’s second largest Latin American trading partner, preceded only by Brazil. Netanyahu left Mexico City on Friday to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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