On September 19, 1985, a brutal earthquake shook Mexico with a magnitude of 8.0, leaving 10,000 dead and 30,000 injured. The date is forever marked as a tragic day of destruction in the history of Mexico. The earthquake left many dead, many homeless, and many traumatized.
Yesterday, on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake, Mexico City was shaken by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.
Twelve days ago, Thursday, September 7th, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico and Guatemala. The earthquake was most strongly felt in Chiapas and Oaxaca as people slept. The death count reached 90 people as buildings crumbled to pieces, leaving people homeless and devastated as aftershocks continued to be felt for days. There were nearly 800 aftershocks, the greatest of 4.5 magnitude.
Help was sent, the federal police and soldiers arrived to assist victims, to pull people out of collapsed buildings and establish order.
The earthquake struck at 1 pm on September 19th, when most people were at work, school, and going about their daily routines. There were several reported gas leaks and damaged buildings. Buildings crumbled to the ground, trapping people inside and taking many lives. People ran out into the streets in panic, some of them reliving the earthquake of 1985. People responded in solidarity, working together to help people out of the wrecked buildings, strangers uniting to save lives. Streets cracked open and the primary airport, known as the AICM, closed due to damages caused by the earthquake.
The overall death toll is of 149 so far. Some damaged hospitals had to evacuate their patients as many buildings swayed. Private hospitals that were undamaged opened their doors to all those who needed assistance. People continued to assist others, uniting with rescuers to search for people under the rubble.
Children were trapped inside their crumbling school, several died along with one of the educators. Some of the students trapped inside were able to message their families, telling them they were trapped inside but still alive. Rescuers searched through the wreckage, trying to get to the children in time.
Unfortunately, not all of them made it. Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, announced after visiting the scene, that 22 bodies had been recovered, twenty of them students and two adults. There are 38 people still missing inside, 30 of them children. The rescue teams were attempting to provide oxygen for those still trapped inside as night fell.
#MexicoUnido and #FuerzaMexico have been trending on Twitter to help people stay informed and to show support to all those affected.
What are the odds of an earthquake happening on the anniversary of another?
Mi corazón esta con Mexico
Photo: AFP/A. Estrella