MEXICO CITY (CBSNewYork/CBSNews) – A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rocked central Mexico on Tuesday, collapsing buildings and causing widespread damage.

The massive quake was centered about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City in the town of Puebla.


The massive quake was centered about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City in the town of Puebla. 

State and city officials said the national death toll from the earthquake climbed to 139 Tuesday evening, with numbers expected to rise as first responders comb through the rubble.

Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera told local media that at least 30 people died in the capital, where buildings collapsed or were badly damaged at dozens of points throughout the city. Between 50 and 60 people were pulled alive from the rubble by citizens and rescue workers in the city.

CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn explains the Central Mexico earthquake:

Explosions were seen all across the Mexican capital as columns of smoke rose. Many buildings were leveled, and some roadways were completely impassable.

Video showed an entire building collapsed, another showed light fixtures swaying back and forth as frightening workers huddled against a wall for protection. The quake was so powerful, it also caused waves in a rooftop pool.

Inside a television studio, a news anchor quickly left the set while on air in search of safety as the studio lights precariously swung overhead.

Cameras outside the building captured the intense shaking, as alarms across the region warned residents to seek safety. Office workers ran into the streets in Zocalo’s main square.

At the Mexico City Airport, travelers hid beneath tables.

Officials say parts of Mexico are built on a lakebed, which magnifies the effects of earthquakes hundreds of miles away.

PHOTOS: 7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Central Mexico

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto posted on Twitter, urging residents to stay off the streets and disconnect their lights and gas.

President Donald Trump also tweeted, saying “we are with you and will be there for you.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo released a statement, saying his “heart breaks for the people of Mexico.”

“With hundreds of thousands of Mexican-Americans calling our state home, New York shares a special bond with Mexico, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Mexican community in their time of need,” he said.

The quake struck on the anniversary of a 1985 earthquake that devastated central parts of the country and claimed at least 10,000 lives, so every year on September 19th, earthquake preparedness drills are held throughout the country.

As usual, those drills were held Tuesday morning — just hours before the devastating quake hit.

Less than two week ago, an 8.2 earthquake hit southern Mexico, killing 90 people.

Search efforts to rescue more people will likely last all night, as the death toll is expected to rise.

Check back with for more on this developing story.