DFA: No Filipino casualties in deadly Mexico quake

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it has not received any reports of Filipino casualties in the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico on Tuesday, September 19.

More than 200 people were killed and a still undetermined number of individuals were injured in the powerful tremor that toppled buildings in the country, including the heavily damaged Philippine Embassy in Mexico.

The embassy occupies the first two floors of an eight-story office building in the Cuauhtémoc neighborhood near the city center.

Philippine Ambassador to Mexico Eduardo de Vega said that the embassy sustained  damages and all the embassy staff were able get out of the building unhurt when debris started to fall. They were also able to check the condition of the 60-member Filipino community in Mexico City.

“We are all a bit shaken but otherwise all of us from the embassy are all right,” De Vega said in a message to Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.

In a statement, Cayetano offered its sympathy and prayers to Mexico.

“The people of Mexico are again in our thoughts and prayers today,” the Philippines’ top diplomat said. “We offer our sympathies to the Mexican Government and to those who lost their loved ones in this tragedy.”

According to the United States Geological Survey, the magnitude 7.1 quake was centered near the Puebla state town of Raboso, about 76 miles (123 kilometers) southeast of Mexico City.

This came around two weeks after a powerful 8.1 magnitude quake hit the country last September 7, killing 90 people.

It also falls on the 32nd anniversary of the deadliest quake that hit Mexico and left roughly 10,000 people dead in 1985.

The U.S. government also extended its condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones in the incident.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Mexico affected by today’s 7.1-magnitude earthquake and other recent natural disasters. We stand ready to provide assistance should our neighbors request our help,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert  said.

“Our embassy in Mexico City has sent out public messages to U.S. citizens in Mexico, and the embassy stands ready to provide consular assistance to any U.S. citizens who may have been affected,” she added.

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