The southern part of Mexico was hit with an 8.2 magnitude earthquake a couple minutes past midnight on Thursday, September 7. The earthquake is the biggest to hit the country in a century. So far, 58 people have lost their lives because of the natural disaster.
Residents all over the south side of Mexico felt the quake, with many running outside for safety. Mexico City residents were among the more terrified, with their collective memory of 1985 earthquake back in 1985 that killed thousands still terrifyingly fresh.
The Mexican state of Chiapas has reported at least 10 dead. While the state suffered a relatively lower casualty rate, property damage proved worse. Four hundred homes were destroyed while 1,700 were damaged.
Oaxaca state, unfortunately, saw a higher casualty rate with 45 killed. Most of the victims came from the city of Juchitán.
The city’s main hospital was evacuated to a parking lot, with doctors and nurses working with only the light of their cellphones. After being destroyed, they had to move to a grade school and make a makeshift clinic that treated pre-existing patients and new earthquake survivors.
Bad news for Mexico doesn’t stop there, with hurricane Katia fast approaching. Thankfully, several Latin American countries have offered to help and support to the North American nation, reassuring them that they are not alone.
Besides the obvious food and medical help Mexico needs, many also need help with coping with the psychological trauma. The 1985 earthquake is remembered vividly by many. With that being said, Thursday’s earthquake has left many in shock.
Thankfully, Mexico was able to be a bit more prepared for this week’s quake with the help of modern technology. Seismic warning systems went off about 92 seconds before the earthquake actually started, giving people time to get out their homes and to safety. Those seconds of warning before a strong earthquake can save lives. Japan, and Taiwan all have similar systems but the U.S has yet to follow suit. Given that the state of California is infamously earthquake prone, it would be a good idea to invest in a system that could save lives.
Mexico continued search and rescue missions all throughout Friday afternoon. Cleanup was also consuming people’s time as they got dangerous debris out the way along with dead bodies.
You can donate to the International Disaster Relief Fund helping Mexico by clicking here.