Things That Matter

A Major Earthquake Has Devastated Parts Of Southern Mexico

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of southern Mexico near Chiapas late last night. The earthquake was shallow (only 43 miles deep) and strong enough that it was felt as far away as Mexico City, which is 600 miles away from the epicenter, according to CNN. At least 32 people have been killed in Mexico. According to the Associated Press, there is an unconfirmed report of one person dead in neighboring Guatemala.

Buildings shook for almost a full minute after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck off the coast of southern Mexico near Chiapas.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has called the earthquake the strongest Mexico has experienced in 100 years. According to CNN, 32 people have died so far, with 23 deaths in Oaxaca, seven deaths in Chiapas, and two deaths reported in Tabasco.

People have shared videos of the earthquake on social media that show buildings crumbling as they shake.

According to LA Times, two women in Chiapas died after a home collapsed and one child in Tabasco died after a wall fell.

There are reports that some hospitals in the affected area are still without power and first responders are searching for survivors.

“Please, we urgently need as much help as you can send,” Pamela Terán, a city councilor in Juchitán, Oaxaca, said in a video, according to The New York Times. “We need hands and manpower to try and dig out the people that we know are buried under the rubble.”

Mexico City, 600 miles north of the epicenter of the earthquake, felt the force.

Schools in Mexico City and 10 Mexican states impacted by the earthquake have been closed for the day as the country assesses all the damage caused by the earthquake, according to The New York Times.

The skies over Mexico City flashed with lights during the earthquake.

There is some debate about what caused the lights, which is a phenomenon that has been reported during previous earthquakes, according to Forbes.

Forbes reports that there are two theories that can explain the lights. One is that the lights are a release of energy from the ground during seismic activity that is similar to lightning. The second is electrical power sources exploding due to the shaking and movement brought on by the earthquake.

The United States Geological Survey has reported around 20 aftershocks following the earthquake.

According to LA Times, Peña Nieto has warned that a 7.2 magnitude aftershock is likely.

Mexican authorities and first responders are still assessing the damage and looking through rubble for more survivors.


READ: Death Toll Jumps To 413 After Ecuador Earthquake, But Rescuers Continue Finding Survivors

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

Things That Matter

Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

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Mexico Is Owning The Instagram-Worthy World Of Glamping With These Bubble Hotels

Culture

Mexico Is Owning The Instagram-Worthy World Of Glamping With These Bubble Hotels

Right now just about everyone is itching to go on vacation. But considering that we’re still mid-pandemic and the call remains to socially distance, what can one do?

Sure, glamping is nothing new – it’s filled our Instagram feeds for years and was around long before that – but it may just provide travelers with that socially-distanced staycation that so many of us need right about now. Or, better yet, wait a little while longer and get yourself to Mexico where several new glamping bubble hotels are popping up.

Mexico will soon have three “bubble hotel” options for tourists looking for the next level of “glamping.”

When you think of camping, many of us think of bugs, not showering, and doing our private business behind a bush somewhere. While that’s still definitely an option for those of us that are into it, glamping has been a trend towards making the camping experience a more comfortable one.

Glamping has been gaining popularity among nature lovers, who also want to enjoy those everyday creature comforts, but in the midst of beautiful landscapes. That’s why bubble hotels have been popping up across Mexico, to offer clients a unique stay, close to nature they’re the perfect ‘getaway’ to get out of your daily routine.

From the bosque outside Mexico City to the deserts of Baja, Mexico is a glamping paradise. 

These bubble hotels have rooms described by travel guidebook publisher Lonely Planet as essentially inflatable, transparent domes designed to allow guests to cocoon themselves in nature without quite leaving their material comforts behind. 

There are already two such properties across Mexico with a third which will begin welcoming guests sometime toward the end of this year.

One of those that is already operational is Alpino Bubble Glamping in Mexico City while the other is the Campera Bubble Hotel in the Valle de Guadalupe wine region of Baja California.

Located in the Cumbres de Ajusco National Park in the south of the capital, the former has just two “bubbles,” a 40-square-meter deluxe one that goes for 4,500 pesos (about US $220) a night and a 25-square-meter standard where a stay costs a slightly more affordable 4,000 pesos.

Both have views of the Pico del Águila, the highest point of the Ajusco, or Xitle, volcano, and come equipped with telescopes that guests can use to get a better view of the surrounding scenery and night sky.

Bubble glamping isn’t the camping our parents dragged us out to do in the woods as kids.

Credit: Alpino Bubble Hotel

Sure you may be connecting with nature and enjoying awesome activities like horseback riding, stargazing, hiking or rafting, but these properties come with all the creature comforts we’re used to. 

Move nights, wifi, breakfast in bed, warm showers, luxurious bedding, and even a full bar are all standard amenities at many of these properties.

What do you think? Would you be up to stay the night at one of these bubble hotels?

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