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The Mexican earthquake hit a sister city of Minneapolis

Cuernavaca suffered heavy damage in the 7.1 quake.

As rescuers continue the search for survivors, Mexico's president has declared three days of national mourning for the victims of the country's latest earthquake. 

By Wednesday afternoon the death toll from the magnitude 7.1 quake had reached 225, CNN reported

It's Mexico's second deadly earthquake in 12 days. One of the hardest-hit cities is the capital of the state of Morelos, Cuernavaca, which has a sister city relationship with Minneapolis. 

A professor and journalist who lives in Cuernavaca, Greg Berger, told National Public Radio after Tuesday's earthquake: "This is an indigenous town, and a lot of the older walls made out of adobe are collapsed. There's debris in the street. There are a lot of people who are still afraid to go back to their houses." 

About Cuernavaca

According to, Cuernavaca was founded in about 1396. 

Spanish conquistadors invaded the area in 1520 and their leader, Cortes, soon built a palace which still stands in the city. The landmark became the property of the state after Mexican independence and it was among the buildings damaged in the earthquake.

Minneapolis' sister city relationship with Cuernavaca started in 2008. The Latino population of Minneapolis had grown by more than 260 percent during the '90s, city officials said, with about two-thirds of those new residents being from Mexico and many coming from the state of Morelos. 

The sister cities have nearly the same population, some of the same industries, and share similar commitments to education and the arts, organizers said. 

One difference: Cuernavaca is nicknamed "the City of Eternal Spring" and the temperature is almost always between 55 and 82 degrees.

Cuernavaca is one of 12 sister cities Minneapolis has.

'People are watching out for each other'

CNN's report says 71 of the earthquake's confirmed victims were in Morelos state, though it was not clear how many were in Cuernavaca. 

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said on Facebook her office is in touch with the Mexican Consulate and will relay any updates about Cuernavaca. 

Greg Berger, who lives in the city, told NPR: "I think there's a long history in Mexico of the best in people getting brought out by these kinds of disasters, and I can see that in my neighborhood right now. People are watching out for each other, and there's going to be a lot more of that to come over the next few days."

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