Hope amidst the rubble

Replicas after the earthquake that struck Mexico on September 19th make rescue work difficult

Hope amidst the rubble

Leer en Español: Esperanza entre los escombros

The strongest replica had an intensity of 6.1 degrees on the Richter scale, which, while not creating any new damage, it did affect structures already dented. The epicenter was in the state of Oaxaca at 07:53 a.m. After the earthquake, the national army and the navy closed off the buildings most affected in order to protect society.

In total, more than 4,400 replicas between the earthquakes of September 7th and 19th have been calculated, but only those that surpass the 4.5 degrees of magnitude represent a threat for the bodies of rescue. "When the replica is very strong, it can affect the structure where we are working, and we have to wait between 15 and 20 minutes to get back to work, as a consequence of the possible damages caused by the earthquake", said Pablo Soto of the National Navy.

The inhabitants of the most affected areas are afraid to return to their homes; they are seen camping on the side of popular roads where the inhabitants coexist with the intent to continue their daily tasks.

Due to the times that the replicas occurred, it was common seeing people fleeing while in their nightgowns.  Luis Felipe Puente, National Coordinator of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior, stated that "the population [felt the earthquake] in moments when they were at leisure, or sleeping, generating panic to return to what was being done. Panic is widespread, not only in the colonies most affected, but also in the populations surrounding Mexico City; people feel the same fear". For the Secretary of Interior, it is vital that drills continue, as they ensure preparation which was what helped save lives and prevented the tragedy from escalating.

Another factor that has hampered the search efforts have been the constant rains. During the months of September and October, the rains occur every afternoon, causing the rescue teams to work exhaustively day and night because the afternoons are dedicated to finding shelter from the precipitation.  

 

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto 

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