Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Messages From CDMX and The Earthquake


As you all know, Mexico was hit with another earthquake this time covering six states including the Ciudad de Mexico.  I've been glued to the tele all afternoon and have received messages from friends and coworkers there.  Here is one:

La escena en la Ciudad de México. Hay gente que lleva horas caminando a sus casas, y no encuentra donde comprar comida o usar un baño porque todo está cerrado. El ruido más común, las sirenas y los helicópteros. Socavones y edificios colapsados han hecho que cierren varias vialidades importantes. Muchas personas han salido a ofrecer ayuda: Dirigen el tráfico, regalan botellas de agua o comida, llaman a las estaciones de radio para avisar de edificios dañados y el estátus de los hospitales. Todos, absolutamente todos, transformados por el temblor.
Qué frágiles las ficciones que componen la paz de nuestras vidas. Colapsan con solo unos segundos de vislumbrar la muerte. Repararlas realmente puede tomar incontables días.
The current scene in Mexico City.  It is taking people hours to walk to their houses, the streets, traffic, public transport are paralyzed.   You cannot find anything to eat or drink because every shop is closed and there are no bathrooms.  The most common sounds are sirens and helicopters.  Sinkholes and collapsed buildings have closed major arteries.  A lot of people are outside offering help and forming lines to remove rubble and search for people.  They are directing traffic, giving away water and food to people working to excavate and calling radio stations to give more details on collapsed buildings and hospital status.  Everything, absolutely everything hass been affected by the earthquakes.

How fragile are the stories that make up our lives.  Collapsed in just seconds of death.  To repair the damage and return to normal will take endless days.  

A good friend from Canada who lives in CDMX sent these pictures of his two dogs and his apartment building.  He said they had just attended an earthquake drill an hour before as if they knew something was coming.  He is reporting from a nearby Starbucks but is unsure where he will spend the night as he cannot return to his building until it has been inspected.

Out of 17,000 buildings only 29 collapsed.  You can see what great work the Mexican government has done since the big quake of 1985 when tens of thousands lost their lives.   The new structures are built to code and older buildings before 1985 have all been steel reinforced.  

Let's hope there aren't more replicas this week.


  1. Such a sad day for México. I literally spent yesterday watching news about the quake. Fortunately everyone I know there is OK, but it's going to take the city a while to recover. Meanwhile, Puebla, which was hit as badly or possibly worse, is very hard to get news about. I'm hoping that most of those wonderful colonial buildings pulled through. I believe the death count in Puebla is relatively low.

    Kim G
    Redding, CA

  2. So sad! I hope Mexico doesn't get anymore earthquakes. They have had their share in the last week and a half. Hope that your friend and his dogs will be able to return back to their home.


  3. Been listening on CNN to determine if the airports have been damaged; if not, they are a lifeline to fly in aid, water and food, earthquake crews with trained dogs, and Doctors Without Borders. Most looting I think will stop when there is an abundance of food and fresh water on the ground. I know this is not much comfort for someone who has lost a loved one, but optimistically, the velocity of the death rate is such that it seems a lot of people are being able to get out of the damaged buildings. The aftershocks have to be horrifying to those assisting in the rescue efforts and those sleeping outside.