In recent weeks Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Jose have barreled into the Caribbean, the Eastern U.S. and Gulf states (with Maria presently approaching with certain destruction). In the midst of that time period, the 8.1-magnitude earthquake in southern Mexico wreaked havoc, killing nearly 100 people in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Tabasco.
On Tuesday, another quake, measuring 7.1, occurred in Mexico, its epicenter 76 miles southeast of Mexico City near Raboso in the state of Puebla. The death toll so far is nearing 220 throughout the capital and the states of Puebla, Morelos, Mexico and Guerrero. The country’s Ministry of the Interior has declared an emergency for areas affected and has deployed federal soldiers for rescue efforts. There is extensive damage in Mexico City with collapsed buildings, fallen debris, buckled roads and highways, and enormous asphalt fractures at the airport. Because the highly populated metropolis is built on a lakebed, it is vulnerable to amplified shaking even if this quake’s center was quite a distance away. Coincidentally the day marked the anniversary of the 1985 8.0 quake, and an earthquake drill had been held just two hours before Tuesday’s seismic activity. Pledges of support have been forthcoming from the United Nations, the office of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, and President Trump who tweeted with unusual restraint, “God bless the people of Mexico City. We are with you and will be there for you.” Former President Obama tweeted a bilingual message of support, “Thinking about our neighbors in Mexico and all our Mexican-American friends tonight. Cuidense mucho y un fuerte abrazo para todos.” (translated: Take care and a big hug for everyone.)