No Pinoy casualty in Mexico quake; embassy 'badly damaged'

THE Embassy of the Philippines in Mexico was not spared by the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico Wednesday, September 20 (Philippine time).

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said the embassy is "badly damaged," but there is no reported casualty from the 60-member Filipino community in Mexico City.

"The Filipino diplomats were able to check the condition of the 60-member Filipino community in Mexico City," he said.

Ambassador Eduardo de Vega and other staff of the embassy are "a bit shaken" but "are all right," said the Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement Wednesday, September 20.

"We are all a bit shaken but otherwise all of us from the Embassy are all right," De Vega's text message to Cayetano said.

The official and 11 embassy staff were able to rush out of the building when debris started falling from walls and ceiling. The embassy occupies the first two floors of an eight-story building in the Cuauhtemoc neighborhood near the city center.

"The people of Mexico are again in our thoughts and prayers today," said Cayetano, who is in New York, attending the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

This is the second tremor that De Vega experienced within a two-week period in Mexico. Last September 8, an 8.1-magnitude quake struck Oaxaca province and killed at least 61 people.

As of 11:20 a.m. Wednesday, the death toll has reached 149. (SunStar Philippines)

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