Mexico Rocked by Quake

Marian Sahakyan, Features Editor

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Devastation and cries took over Mexico City and its surrounding regions as a deadly 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck it on Sept. 19. It was exactly 32 years ago that day when another trembler of 8.0 magnitude shook the city. Just like that, the Sept. 19 date became doubly ominous and made its reappearance into international headlines.

Leaders worldwide have reached out to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, offering assistance, search-and-rescue teams and more. President Donald Trump was among those to do so. “God Bless the people of Mexico City,” Trump said in a Tweet. “We are with you and will be there for you.”

Over 700 aid workers from several countries have touched down in Mexico to lend a helping hand in rescue efforts. “So many things came and so many people to help,” said Dafne Beltran, 23-year-old student of Iberoamericana University, Campus Santa Fe, in México City, who volunteered in giving aid by sending food and other supplies. “… there was a point that the school said that more people cannot enter to help.”

Rescuers have been tunneling and digging through rubble and debris, initially in hopes to find possible survivors and now to dig up the dead. The death toll had gone up to at least 320, of which nearly two dozen were school children.

Individuals on the ground describe the signs of the big shake being present all over the city. There is broken glass everywhere, caution tape blocking doorways and alleys, and buildings which once stood tall with endless Mexican charm are now crumpled to the ground.

“I haven’t received any help from any types of organizations,” said Alejandra Infante, who is a resident of México State, but could be considered one of the lucky ones as she still has sporadic access to utilities. “I have water, gas and electricity,” said Infante, “but sometimes it leaves because they are fixing cables.”

Mexico’s president has announced a new national emergency. “Unfortunately, many people have lost their lives, including girls and boys in schools, buildings and houses. I want to express my condolences to those who lost a family member or a loved one. México shares your grief,” Peña Nieto said.  

To encourage high spirit and show the fighting nature of his people, the Mexican president continued.

“As Mexicans, we have experienced difficult times because of earthquakes in the past, and we have learned to respond with dedication and a spirit of solidarity.”

As expected, government organizations and volunteers assist in Mexico on the ground, but those of us who are abroad, can’t help but wonder what efforts we can make to help.

According to UNICEF, the most important thing that can be donated during natural disasters is money. There are multiple organizations which have landed campaigns to aid the country in efforts to recovery, including:

Global Giving Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund: goal is $2,500,000 for long and short-term recovery efforts

Cruz Roja Mexicana (Mexican Red Cross): One can donate money or choose to purchase survival essentials from ‘Amazon Wish List’ to donate

Project Paz: though this organization is based in New York City, their aim is to help children in Mexico. Donations through Project Paz are tax deductible.

UNICEF Mexico: donate money through unicef.org

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