In Mexico City's worst hit neighborhoods, hopelessness and fear grows

In Mexico City's worst hit neighborhoods, hopelessness and fear grows

A 12-year-old girl trapped in a collapsed school building - who had become symbol of hope in earthquake-devastated Mexico City - does not exist, officials have said.

Officials say the total death toll is now 273, and the mayor of Mexico City says 50 people are still unaccounted for.

Pedro Serrano, a 29-year-old doctor, was one of the ordinary Mexicans who had volunteered to join the rescue effort.

Her credits for the most recent disaster has not been tallied yet, said Navy Captain Armando Segura, because she is still busy trying to save lives. They said on social media that the girl told rescue workers that she was with five other classmates.

The 7.1 magnitude quake struck Tuesday afternoon, just hours after the region engaged in natural disaster drills on the 32nd anniversary of a 1985 natural disaster that claimed thousands of lives in Mexico.

"This is just like Mexican politics, incredible", said Edgar Felix, a freelance reporter for several Mexican news outlets who had just spent more than 30 hours without sleep watching the rescue effort from inside the school courtyard.

Coverage of the quake reminded news readers and viewers that Mexico City, where many died, and where damage to buildings and infrastructure was significant, hardly rests on solid ground. Frida, a rescue dog with Mexico's Navy, went to work.

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Authorities have confirmed 25 dead, including 19 children and six adults, at the school and also said that another 11 children were being treated at hospitals for non-life-threatening injuries.

Of rescuers attempting to clear rubble from the school Enrique Rebsaman, in Mexico city, on September 20, 2017.

As rescue efforts enter a third day, Mexicans have been captivated by the fate of quake victim "Frida Sofia", a young girl supposedly trapped under the collapsed Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City.

Frida Sofia (full name not disclosed) was believed to have been one of the deceased until heat sensors used by emergency crews picked up activity from under the ruins of the building Wednesday. "They are still alive".

The Israeli military said it would send 70 people to help with rescue efforts by providing engineering assistance.

Mexico's president even gave her a shout-out on Twitter.

Most of the worldwide news has been focused on the earthquake's impact in Mexico City, but only about half of the associated deaths actually occurred there.