Tuesday was a fatal day for Mexico as the powerful earthquake shook Mexico City and surrounding states, killing a bunch of people while many ended up trapped under the collapsed buildings and debris. According to the reports, at least 216 people were killed in Mexico City and the states of Puebla, Mexico, and Morelos. Initially, the authorities believed that at least 248 people have died, but that number has been changed.
The 7.1-magnitude earthquake’s epicenter was 2.8 miles east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles south-southwest of the city of Puebla, reports the US Geological Survey. Unfortunately, an elementary school in Mexico City was one of the buildings which collapsed and 22 bodies were found underneath the debris, says president Enrique Peña Nieto. He added that at least 30 children were still missing on Tuesday night.
After the earthquake, Peña Nieto addressed the citizens: “We are facing a new national emergency.” This earthquake followed the more powerful 8.1-magnitude earthquake which had hit the southern coast of the country, and it killed at least 90 people, said the Oaxaca state governor.
The unfortunate event in Mexico City united everyone, and you could see thousands of soldiers, rescuers, college students and civilians digging through the piles of devastated buildings. Mexico City became a chaotic place with people carrying buckets full of debris, whereas others searched for their loved ones who have been brought to safety. The noise bothered the rescuers who were trying to hear voices under the ruins, so occasionally, they asked for the silence of the confused citizens.
The earthquake caused windows to shatter and fall to the ground, whereas the people ran away, trying to avoid collapsing buildings and potential gas leaks. The public transportation also stopped, and the power poles toppled in the devastating quake leaving millions of people without power early Wednesday.
Education Minister Aurelio Nuño posted on Twitter that all public and private schools in the capital of Mexico and the state affected by the earthquake would be closed until it was decided otherwise. The earthquake which hit Mexico City on Tuesday happened on the anniversary of another powerful earthquake which killed thousands of people in 1985. No wonder many residents were a part of commemorative events held around the city.
“God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you,” US President Donald Trump tweeted.
When the earthquake hit, New York City photographer Adrian Wilson was at his fiancée’s in Mexico City: “The floor gently rocked as if a big truck went by. It then amplified in waves, and the whole room started shaking. The building is from the 1930s and just survived a big earthquake, so I knew I would be OK. The doors were flapping open, the windows, everything.”
In this moment of sudden fear, he took a quick video to show it to his kids, said Wilson. “It’s almost a roller coaster ride, where you think, wow, this is kind of cool. But then all of a sudden, you’re like this isn’t cool at all.” He looked through the window, and he saw building falling like dominoes, installations catching fire. “Then you realize … this is no joy ride for anybody,” he added.
A TV producer from Los Angeles, Ricardo Ramos was in one of Mexico City cafes when all this started. As soon as he felt everything shaking, he ran out into the street. He wrote on Instagram: “Thank you, God, for keeping us safe once again. We got to experience another terrible #earthquake, this time during a location scout.”
Meanwhile, Luis Ramos, who owns an airline business management company, happened to be in a meeting which took place near the city’s main airport when he felt the ground shaking. “We evacuated and when we got outside the roads were moving up and down, and trees were falling,” he declared. “It was nerve-wracking.” He immediately went on to check whether his 99-year-old grandfather Pedro Cabrero was fine. “On the elevated roadway, I could see smoke and hear explosions,” he said. “I saw a lot of damaged buildings where the exteriors had fallen. I saw some collapsed buildings.” Luckily, both of them were safe and sound.
When the magnitude-8.0 earthquake hit Mexico City on September 19, 1985, it killed 9,500 people in and around the capital. This forced authorities to change building codes which would provide greater protection against earthquakes.
One of the Mexico City residents, Dorothy Munoz, said she was watching a TV special on the 1985 earthquake when the earth started shaking. “A fish tank fell to the floor. Decorations around the apartment fell and broke. Furniture fell over,” said the frightened woman.
“This is one of those moments where we all need to come together,” Ramos stated.