20 Sep 2017

'It was six or seven storeys... it's down to about two storeys'

9:20 am on 20 September 2017

A New Zealander living in Mexico has described running past collapsed buildings and crowds of terrified people as the second powerful earthquake in two weeks struck.

People search a collapsed building in Mexico City.

People search a collapsed building in Mexico City after this morning's 7.1 earthquake. Photo: AFP

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake jolted Mexico City and surrounding states this morning, trapping people in collapsed buildings and schools.

Jai Krishnan

Jai Krishnan rushed to his daughter's school. Photo: Supplied / Jai Krishnan

It hit just two weeks after a powerful 8.1 earthquake on 7 September that killed at least 98 people.

Jai Krishnan, from Wellington, was in his second-floor Mexico City apartment when the latest quake struck.

"I actually ran down to my daughter's school, and I ran through plumes of dust and the smell of ash, and I saw lots and lots of people in the street," said Mr Krishnan.

"Parts of buildings have collapsed, about 100 metres from where I live a building has come down on the corner, it probably was six or seven storeys, and it's down to about two storeys now, it's so saddening to see."

Mr Krishnan has lived in the capital with his partner and daughter for a year and was in the city when the previous quake struck.

This shake was even more terrifying than the one that hit earlier this month, he said.

"There's sirens and helicopters buzzing around all over the place, I went on to the roof of our building and there's smoke pouring out of other buildings across the city."

Jai Krishnan took this photo of people next to the rubble of a building in Mexico City.

Jai Krishnan took this photo of people in the street next to the rubble of a building after the earthquake. Photo: Jai Krishnan

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs