The magnitude 7.1 earthquake that rocked central Mexico on Tuesday has already resulted in the death of as many as 150 people, local authorities have said.

Indeed, these are not the best of times for Mexico as footage show buildings collapsed in plumes of dust and thousands fleeing into the streets in panic.

Tuesday's quake comes less than two weeks after another quake left 90 people dead in the country’s south, and it occurred as Mexicans commemorated the anniversary of a 1985 quake that killed thousands.

There are fears that there would be a sharp rise in the number of casualties even as rescue operations intensify.

In one of the eye witness accounts, a market stall vendor Edith Lopez, 25, said she was in a taxi a few blocks away when the quake struck.

She said she saw glass bursting out of the windows of some buildings. She was anxiously trying to locate her children, whom she had left in the care of her disabled mother.

On his part, Mexico's President, Enrique Pena Nieto has ordered hospitals to treat all injured regardless of health coverage.

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