Things That Matter

Buildings Collapse And More Than 70 Dead After Mexico City Is Hit By Major Earthquake

Mexico City has been rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that struck near the state of Puebla. The shaking from today’s quake was so violent that buildings collapsed in the capital city. Several fires from leaking gas lines were also reported. There is still very little information on the state of the impacted area as rescue efforts are underway to save those that are trapped in collapsed buildings. As of the time of this post, the death toll is up to 79 people. Today also marks the 32nd anniversary of the earthquake that devastated Mexico City in 1985, which killed 10,000 people and injured 30,000. Here is what we know so far.

The United States Geological Survey reported a 7.1 magnitude earthquake close to Izúcar de Matamoros, Mexico.

Izúcar de Matamoros is about a three-hour drive to Mexico City. The strength of the earthquake shook the capital city, which is about 80 miles from the epicenter.

The earthquake violently shook parts of Mexico, just 11 days after Oaxaca and Chiapas were devastated by their own earthquake.

According to ABC News, Paul Earle, a seismologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said that the earthquake today is too far removed in time to be an aftershock of the Oaxaca/Chiapas earthquake that left more than 90 people dead.

Earlier in the day, businesses and buildings around Mexico City held earthquake evacuation drills as part of the anniversary of the 1985 quake.

Only a couple hours after the drill, a real earthquake sent shockwaves through the city that sits on a lakebed.

There are reports of buildings collapsing all over Mexico City, which is built on a lakebed leaving buildings susceptible to sinking and collapsing during earthquakes.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the soil in the lakebed has the ability to amplify the effects of an earthquake even if it is hundreds of miles from the city.

Mexicans were left speechless and shaken as buildings continued to collapse.

ABC News reports that there are more than 20 buildings that have collapsed around Mexico City and crews are working to save those trapped under the rubble.

Broken gas lines have led to explosions in damaged buildings adding to the chaos and destruction in the city.

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto was on a flight to Oaxaca when the earthquake started and has announced his immediate return to Mexico City, according to Twitter. He has also announced a meeting of the National Committee of Emergencies and has activated Plan MX. Plan MX is a national plan that, when enacted, coordinates all national agencies to respond in the face of a disaster to reduce response time and minimize losses, according to documents of Secretaría de Gobernación.

Crews are working to assess the damage and losses caused by the earthquake.

Keep your thoughts and prayers with Mexico. We will update this story as we learn more.

If you are interested in helping those who have been affected by the earthquake, there are several ways to help. Here is a short list of organizations you can reach out to:

UNICEF Mexico: UNICEF has long been an organization that helps to protect and support children all over the world, especially in times of crisis and disaster.
Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund by GlobalGiving: GlobalGiving has helped raise more than $270 million since 2002 and vets all donation drives to insure that they are legitimate and work of the cause they claim.
Red Cross Mexico: The Red Cross helps to provide supplies and shelter to those in need after a natural disaster.
Project Paz: Project Paz has a donation page set up where you can donate money to help victims of either the Sept. 7 Oaxaca/Chiapas earthquake or the Sept. 19 Mexico City earthquake.
Topos: Topos is a rescue brigade that was formed after the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that devastated the city and are willing to step up again anytime a disaster hit’s Mexico’s capital.

READ: A Major Earthquake Has Devastated Parts Of Southern Mexico

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Viva Mexico Is Trending On Twitter Proving That Mexico Is More Than Just A Country

Culture

Viva Mexico Is Trending On Twitter Proving That Mexico Is More Than Just A Country

Carlos Vivas / Getty Images

It is Mexico’s Independence Day and that means that Mexicans around the world are honoring their roots. Twitter is buzzing with people who might not be in Mexico but they will forever have Mexico in their hearts. Here are just a few of the loving messages from people who are Mexican through and through.

Viva Mexico is trending on social media and the tweets are filled with love and passion for the country.

Mexico received its independence from Spain on September 16, 1810 and since then the day has been marked with celebration. The day is marked with parties of pride and culture no matter where you are in the world.

Mexicans everywhere are letting their Mexican flag fly.

Tbh, who doesn’t want to be Mexican to enjoy the day of puro pinche pride? The celebration for Mexican Independence Day starts on Sept. 15 with El Grito. The tradition is that the president of Mexico stands on the balcony on Sept. 15 at 11 p.m. and rings the same church bell that Roman Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla rang in 1810 to trigger the Mexican Revolution.

People are loving all of the celebrations for their homeland.

The original El Grito took place in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato in 1810. While most El Grito celebrations take place at the National Palace, some presidents, especially on their last year, celebrate El Grito in the town where it originated.

Honestly, no one celebrates their independence day like Mexico and we love them for it.

¡Viva Mexico! Mexico lindo y querido. How are you celebrating the Mexican Independence Day this year? Show us what you have planned.

READ: Many Mexicans Are Calling Out Fragile Masculinity As Some Continue To Protest A Controversial Zapata Painting

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Volunteer Firefighters From Mexico Went to Oregon to Help Their “Sister City” Contain the Unprecedented Fires

Things That Matter

Volunteer Firefighters From Mexico Went to Oregon to Help Their “Sister City” Contain the Unprecedented Fires

Just when you thought humanity has failed us, someone steps up and shows the world that the generosity of the human spirit is alive and well. 

Last week, a post on Reddit went viral of a group of volunteer firefighters from Guanajuato, Mexico who traveled to the city of Ashland, Oregon to help fight the wildfires that are blazing across the western state.

The fire department is called Heroico Cuerpo de Bomberos Voluntarios, the Heroic Volunteer Fire Department, in English.

The two towns have had a “sister city” relationship for over 50 years. Sister-city relationships are meant to “promote peace and understanding through exchanges that focus on arts and culture, youth and education, business and trade, and community development”.

The internet swiftly erupted into comments praising the volunteer firefighters for their bravery and comradery. “Mexico also sent relief during Katrina. Mexico and Canada are our best allies, always there for us regardless of the politics,” one commenter said. Another chimed in: “Welcome to Oregon, amigos. Mantenga una bota en el quemado.”

The troop of men who traveled from Mexico to the United States were identified as Captain Aldo Iván Ruiz, Captain Juan Armando Alvarez Villegas, Sargent Jorge Luis Anguiano Jasso, Sargent Luis Alfonso Campos Martínez and Miguel Ángel Hernández Lara. They were accompanied by the mayor of Guanajuato, Alejandro Navarro.

“We began the relief work,” Navarro wrote on Twitter. “Very moved by the terrible impact of the fire on families and their homes.”

The Oregon wildfires are just one of the many that are blazing down the West Coast of the United States, taking people’s homes, land, and sometimes, their lives. In more than 1 million acres have burned and two dozen fires are still raging.

“Almost every year since becoming governor, I’ve witnessed historic fire seasons,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown recently said at a press conference. “Yet this is proving to be an unprecedented and significant fire event for our state.”

Experts are hypothesizing that these unprecedented fires are further evidence of the toll man-made climate change is having on the environment. 

via Getty Images

“I can’t think of any time over the last 100 years where we’ve had serial fire outbreaks, four years running,” said fire historian Stephen Pyne to the Washington Post. “That I can find no record of happening before,” he added. “That is the big switch; that is the phase change.”

Regardless of what has caused the fires, the bravery of these firefighters is worth commendable. Their actions are further proof that borders cannot contain the universal values of kindness, altruism, and brotherhood.

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