Things That Matter

Mexico Was Rattled By A Massive Earthquake And This Is What It Was Like In The Country’s Capital

Mexico woke up today to the sounds of sirens which gave way to intense shaking from the southern state of Chiapas to the capital, Mexico City. Although the country is no stranger to strong earthquakes, the trauma of 2017’s massive quake is still raw and sent many residents into a state of panic as the alarms sounded.

Here in Mexico City, the shaking was intense despite being some 300 miles from the epicenter of the 7.4 quake – which was located in Oaxaca. At least one death has been attributed to the quake, millions are without power, and millions more are wondering when the next one will hit.

Note: this is a developing story and we will update it as more information becomes available.

A preliminary 7.4 magnitude earthquake struck the southern coast of Mexico and was felt throughout the region.

Credit: Tomas Bravo / Getty Images

Mexico has been hit by a large earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4, centered along the coastline of southern Oaxaca state. Although the epicenter was some 300 miles from the capital of Mexico City, strong shaking was felt in the nation’s capital – as well as as far away as Veracruz, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The quake has knocked out power to millions, damaged several buildings, and triggered tsunami warnings up and down the Mexican coastline.

A report from Reuters said that at least one person was killed in Oaxaca as a result of the quake.

In Mexico City, residents fled their homes for the relative safety of the streets amid violent shaking.

Credit: Tomas Bravo / Getty Images

Living in Mexico City, I can confirm that the shaking was super strong here in the capital – especially in Colonia Roma. Many had to scramble to their knees to avoid falling over or to hold onto a car or building to steady themselves amid the strong shaking.

More than anything, it was also a very loud earthquake. The sound of the earth underneath a massive city shaking violently is extremely loud and almost as terrifying as the actual shaking.

For almost an hour after the initial shaking, many residents were still outside in the streets, too afraid to go back inside their homes. And with good reason – as of early afternoon there have already been more than 150 aftershocks.

Standing outside among my neighbors, one thing was painfully obvious: the trauma of the 2017 earthquake is still fresh on many people’s minds. Many were scared to tears.

Videos of the shaking quickly made their way onto social media.

From buildings swaying into each other, the ground moving beneath people’s feet, and the inside of people’s homes being violently tossed from side to side, videos of the quake have quickly gone viral.

One such video showed a hospital in Mexico City suffering extensive damage as it was violently shaken from side to side.

One thing is for sure: the city’s earthquake warning system worked perfectly.

Most of Mexico City is equipped with an early earthquake warning system. And it can be credited for saving lives. In my neighborhood, La Roma, we had a good 30-45 second warning before the shaking actually began. In fact, the alarm gave us so much warning that many of us thought it was just a test – because in the past the shaking typically starts just mere seconds after the alarm.

Since the 2017 earthquake, which killed hundreds, Mexico has been hard at work at fine tuning the alarm system. They have invested some 450 million pesos ($20 million USD) into additional sensors and sirens strategically placed around populated areas to better alert residents – and it seems to have paid off.

Mexico is no stranger to strong quakes – having been hit by even larger ones in 2017 and 1985.

Credit: Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez / Getty Images

Mexico is one of the world’s most seismically active regions and has a long history of devastating earthquakes. The country is located on top of three large tectonic plates and their movement causes regular quakes and occasional volcanic eruptions.

In 2017, two powerful earthquakes hit the country in two weeks, toppling buildings, cracking highways and killing hundreds of people. One had a magnitude of 7.1 and the other a magnitude of 8.1.

Meanwhile, the nation’s capital – Mexico City, is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it was built on a former lakebed. Most of the city’s 20 million residents live above very soft and wet ground which amplifies shaking and is prone to liquefaction, in which dirt transforms into a dense liquid when sufficiently churned. This is why even weaker earthquakes are often felt more strongly in Mexico City than other parts of the country.

Despite the large earthquake, Mexicans are taking it all in stride and a string of memes have already hit the Internet mocking the ridiculousness of 2020.

In a matter of minutes, memes depicting just how crazy 2020 is – from COVID to earthquakes – had already taken over Mexican Twitter.

And if this one isn’t all too real:

Given the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, this one is super relatable. As I ran out of my apartment to the street, I had to run back inside to grab that mask. #SafetyFirst

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The Mexico City House From Netflix’s “Roma” Is Up For Sale And Could Be Yours For The Right Price

Entertainment

The Mexico City House From Netflix’s “Roma” Is Up For Sale And Could Be Yours For The Right Price

Rodrigo Arangua / Getty Images

Every so often the locations filmed in some of our favorite movies become famous in their own right. Think about the dinosaurs from Peewee’s Big Adventure, the Circus Liquor store from Clueless, or the San Francisco mansion from Full House, close your eyes and you can probably picture them crystal clear.

For the Netflix film Roma, one of its biggest stars has been the house in which many of the film’s scenes were shot. In fact, it’s become a bit of a tourist destination in its own right. And now, as it comes on the market, people are flocking to the property for a chance to see it up close.

The house from Roma is on sale and people are flocking to see it.

Besides being a chronicle of a family during a turbulent moment in history and conveying a complex look at class and gender, Alfonso Cuarón’s award-winning Roma is also that rare film where its primary location feels like a character unto itself. In this case, it’s the Mexico City house where the film’s characters live; over the course of watching, you might feel like you live there yourself.

Now, the house in question is on the market — and cinema buffs and architecture fans alike might be intrigued.

The now famous house doesn’t really standout among the neighboring homes – except for a commemorative plaque.

Credit: Rodrigo Arangua/ Getty Images

Although the house is located in one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods – Roma – it’s located in a quiet corner of the colonia and doesn’t really stand out from any of the other houses. Although upon further inspection, you’ll see a plaque that commemorates the most celebrated Mexican film in decades, Roma.

In the 2018 film, Tepeji 22 stood in for Alfonso Cuarón’s boyhood home, and its facade and patio featured in some of the most memorable scenes.

Cuarón spent the first years of his life in the house across the street, Tepeji 21, but preferred the light in the house opposite to shoot his film and the family agreed. The production designer, Eugenio Caballero, changed the window grilles and retiled the patio, which serves as the set piece for the film’s first scene introducing the film’s protagonist, Cleo, the family’s maid, as she washes dog waste from the floor with soapy water.

The home was painstakingly recreated a set to match Cuarón’s memories.

Credit: Carlos Somante / Roma / Netflix

In a Netflix documentary about the making of the film, Cuáron describes how he tried to find as much of the original furniture as he could, contacting relatives across Mexico to ask them to borrow pieces. And it worked, since so many people who saw the film spoke about its authenticity and beauty.

The home’s owners have put it up for sale but aren’t publicly disclosing the price.

When Roma was nominated for 10 Oscars – and won three, including one for Best Director – the Monreal family (who own the property) welcomed tourists who tracked the movie’s locations through Roma and the rest of the city.

“It hurts,” Monreal told The Guardian, of the decision to sell the house, preferring to keep the reasons for the sale private. “It has given us great satisfaction, we love it. You can’t measure everything that we have lived through here, everything this house has given us: shelter, closeness, a united family.”

Despite the rumors that are swirling across social media, the Monreal family has not publicly shared the asking price for the house. A listing for a four-bedroom house on the same street, which is only two blocks long and not much changed since the 1970s, cited an asking price of about US$760,000.

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Is This Peak 2020? La Virgen De Guadalupe Allegedly Appears Inside A Mexico City Pothole

Culture

Is This Peak 2020? La Virgen De Guadalupe Allegedly Appears Inside A Mexico City Pothole

Omgitsjustintime / Instagram

In one many are calling a miracle, some Mexico City residents say that an image of La Virgen de Guadalupe has appeared in their neighborhood, in the middle of a pothole.

Many are so convinced that they’ve turned the site into a holy shrine and visitors from around the city are flocking to the area to pay their respects and offer prayers. But not everyone is convinced with many on Twitter responding with their own supposed visions of the virgin in everything from tacos and heads of lettuce to clouds and tortillas.

Could it be? Did la virgen appear in a Mexico City pothole?

Despite stay-at-home orders, faithful Catholics have been flocking to a pothole in the Mexico City suburb of Nezahualcóyotl. Why? They’re convinced that la Virgen de Guadalupe has made an appearance in a pothole, thanks to an image which residents say bears a miraculous image of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

According to neighbors, the image appeared on December 9 soon after the pothole was filled for the second time in a row.

Locals told the newspaper El Universal that the pothole had been left unrepaired for two years, but then workers showed up to repair it last week. When traffic caused the hole to reopen, a worker came by a second time to fix the hole. That evening, neighbors say, the image of the virgin appeared on the fresh concrete.

Residents in the area have already turned the new holy site into a shrine.

Local resident Beatriz Noriega Ramírez was one of a group of neighbors who taped off the site and surrounded it with candles and flowers in tribute.

“News is already circulating about the appearance of the virgin and people have begun to arrive to say prayers,” she said. “Even sick people have been asking from their cars to be healed.”

Neighbors of the new virgin told reporters that they felt blessed to have Mexico’s most beloved holy figure make an appearance in their neighborhood.

“In these such difficult pandemic times, it’s a message that the virgin is with us,” said a visibly emotional resident.

And the discovery comes just as Catholics celebrated the virgin’s holy day.

The image appeared on December 9, a holy day for Mexican Catholics for it is the day the virgin is said to have first appeared in Mexico, in 1531, to an indigenous man known as Juan Diego.

Catholics just marked the Virgin of Guadalupe’s feast day on Saturday. Her basilica, in a zone of the city known as Villa Guadalupe, usually attracts 8–10 million visitors in the days leading up to December 12. However, this year police-manned barricades kept all but locals from accessing the streets near the basilica on Friday and Saturday. All church activities on both days at the basilica were canceled to discourage large crowds.

However, many Twitter users reacted with skepticism.

Honestly, we’re just waiting for our tías and abuelas to start sending this around with a blessing attached. It is only a matter of time before we see this photo all over our newsfeeds because of the very family members mentioned above.

And let’s be honest. This isn’t the first time people have claimed to have had a religious figure appear in strange places.

In 1977, a Latina mother in New Mexico became the first person to spot Jesus Christ on a tortilla. As Angelica Rubio recalled for The Eater, the discovery of the tortilla convinced her mother to set up a dedicated shrine to the tortilla to make sure people could come to see the miracle. The tortillas, made by Rubio’s mother every morning, held a surprise one morning as she saw a burn mark in one tortilla that looked just like the Lord Jesus Christ.

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