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Rescue workers

Volunteers and rescuers work on the roof of a building after the deadly earthquake in Mexico City (Rex features)

In pictures: Mexico's deadliest earthquake in 32 years floors buildings and leaves 248 dead

Mexico’s deadliest earthquake since 1985 has left a trail of death and destruction in its wake as fatalities rose to 248 overnight.

The 7.1 quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the tremor that killed thousands and came just two hours after earthquake drills were held across Mexico to mark the date.

One of the most desperate rescue efforts was at a primary and secondary school in southern Mexico City, where a wing of the three-story building collapsed into a massive pancake of concrete floor slabs.

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People across central Mexico already had rallied to help their neighbours as dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of rubble.

Mexico City mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed and twisted and hundreds of thousands of panicked people ran into the streets blocking traffic.

The quake appeared to be unrelated to the magnitude 8.1 tremor that hit on September 7 off Mexico’s southern coast and also was felt strongly in the capital.

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