Most of Mexico City was woken up just before midnight to an 8.2 quake, the hardest ever to hit the country since 1932, without major consequences and with no human losses reported so far in the country’s capital city.
However, the stress felt by many natives to the country’s capital was justified for fears of experiencing a tremor similar to that of September 19, 1985, which caused over 10, 000 deaths as well as extensive material losses and damage.
Mexico City would never be the same after 1985, with most of its downtown area having to be rebuilt, Mexicans developed an unparalleled level of solidarity amongst their countrymen and raised their capital city from ruins.
A culture of civic education took over the country and all of a sudden we were taught and trained to acknowledge the possibility of further similar natural disasters, and, most importantly how to respond and survive to earthquakes, “Do not run, do not push, do not scream” were common signs displayed in schools, corporate buildings and government agencies alike.
Earthquake drills became the norm in all spheres of the city life and people could only hope never to use the knowledge gained in such awareness training.
From then on, buildings became equipped with the seismic technology necessary to outlive further earthquakes in the same city founded on top of a lake, almost 700 years ago, by Aztec settlers.
— Webcams de México (@webcamsdemexico) September 8, 2017
Last night, minutes before midnight, people woke up to the song of the seismic warning siren system, while others heading home or still at work looked at each other in confusion or plain disbelief, as the same warning siren system had “cried wolf” just the day before.
After 120 seconds, the disbelief turned to fear as entire buildings swayed across Mexico City for almost three minutes time. People wearing nothing but their pajamas could be easily spotted in neighborhoods across Mexico City, while the Mexican media recorded rocking newsrooms and fading lamps.
No, this was not 1985, at least not for Mexico City though. This time it was Southeastern Mexico in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Tabasco where tragedy was to be told: “Municipalities of Juchitán and Salina Cruz, in the southeastern state of Oaxaca, remain without power after strongest tremor to hit Mexico in 85 years leaves 61 people dead across the country so far.”
What we know of Oaxaca so far
Over 45 people dead, 70 injured, and about a thousand homes remain damaged after the Tehuantepec Isthmus region was hit hard by an 8.2 Richter earthquake last night in southern Mexico, as informed by the Oaxaca state government. People at the Civic Hospital, M.Benítez, were able to leave just before the building collapsed and patients were been cared forOaxaca governor, Alejandro Murat Hinojosa is covering the worst affected area, since early morning, to assess the damage in hard hit sections of Juchitán de Zaragoza municipality, where authorities have confirmed 31 people dead as yet and the destruction of 50% of the municipal building where people are believed to still be trapped inside.
President Peña Nieto has traveled to Chiapas to assess the damage and coordinate rescue operations, while Civil Protection and the Federal Police remain vigilant and continue to offer support to the population.
Mexico Minister of Transport and Communications (SCT), Eduardo Ruiz Esparza has confirmed that airports, highways and telecom services through Mexico remain fully operational, while the Ministry of Defense (SEDENA) is operating the National Disaster Plan (DN-III-E) to assist communities affected by the quake mainly in southeastern states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.
For his part, Minister of Finance (SAT), José Antonio Meade, assured that Mexico government has the financial capacity to address the damages produced by the 8.2 earthquake, either by using the Disaster Relief Fund amounting to USD$150 million, or with resources from the National Disasters Fund (Fonden) that amount to MXN$15bn, respectively. Mexico’s National Seismological Service of Mexico (SSN) has informed of 337 aftershocks since yesterday’s 8.2 Richter quake, the greater having a 6.1 magnitude. Authorities have cautioned the population to take the necessary precautions and remain alert for a possible 7 Richter aftershock.
“Do not run, do not push, do not scream” rings in most of the heads not too young to remember what 1985 was like and in all of Mexico’s social consciousness as rescue operations continue in Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Tabasco following the 8.2 tremor, and while Gulf state of Veracruz braces for the arrival of Hurricane Katia.
Donations and aid for the people affected by yesterday's earthquake can be delivered at provisional collection points found at the Olympic Stadium and colleges of Mexico National Autonomous University (UNAM), National Polytechnic Institue (IPN) at Zacatenco's and Santo Tomás campi and Mexico City's Zocalo square as from tomorrow from 9:00-18:00. With information from UNIVERSAL correspondents and a chronicle from EL UNIVERSAL in English staff.bg