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7.1 earthquake rocks central Mexico, topples buildings

By Steve Almasy, CNN

(CNN) -- A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck the central Mexican state of Puebla on Tuesday afternoon, leveling buildings in the region.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Preliminary reports put the epicenter 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles (55 km) south-southwest of the city of Puebla, according to the US Geological Survey said.

It was felt in the center of Mexico City, which is only about 75 miles (121 km) from the epicenter. Pictures on social media and witness accounts confirmed the quake collapsed buildings.

The earthquake struck at a depth of about 33 miles (51 km).

Here are the latest developments:

• Education Minister Aurelio Nuño tweeted "all public and private schools in Mexico City are cancelled until further notice." He said schools in the states of Puebla and Guerrero also are closed until further notice.

• The airport in Mexico City is closed. According to the airport's Twitter account, "Operations are suspended until every infrastructure is assessed."

• The governor of Puebla said on Twitter that there were reports of damaged buildings. Tony Gali urged residents to follow civil protection security protocols.

Photographer: Moment turns to terror

Adrian Wilson, a photographer from New York City who was visiting his fiancee, was eating in the capital when the earthquake struck.

"I was having lunch when the floor gently rocked as if a big truck went by," Wilson said. "It then amplified in waves and the whole room started shaking. The building is from the 1930s and just survived a big earthquake, so I knew I would be OK."

Wilson told CNN: "The doors were flapping open, the windows, everything."

He took a quick video to show his children, he said.

"It's almost a roller coaster ride, where you think, wow, this is kind of cool. But then all of a sudden, you're like this isn't cool at all," he said.

He looked outside and saw helicopters, and burning buildings and collapsed buildings. "Then you realize ... this is no joy ride for anybody."

President Enrique Peña Nieto tweeted, "I have called a meeting for the National Emergency Committee to evaluate the situation and to coordinate any actions. Plan MX has been activated."

The leader said he was "on (a) flight to Oaxaca. I immediately will return to Mexico City to address the situation caused by the earthquake."

The earthquake comes 32 years after a magnitude-8.0 earthquake hit on September 19, 1985, killing an estimated 9,500 people in and around Mexico City.

It comes more than one week after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck off the southern coast of the country, killing at least 61 people.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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