Salvation Army Earthquake in Mexico

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At 13:14 local time on Tuesday, September 19 of this year, the ground trembled again in Mexico, with an epicenter in the limits of Morelos and Puebla. It was smaller earthquake, but its proximity to the Capital has caused the damages to be much greater. Chaos and panic seized Mexico City and more than 40 buildings collapsed, including two schools.


In one of them, Enrique Rébsamen Elementary, the president of the country, Enrique Peña Nieto, confirmed after 10pm that at least 21 children had died and another 30 were still missing.


At the time of writing this note, and according to the Civil Protection Agency, approximately 225 people have died in different areas. The record indicates 94 of them in the capital, 71 in Morelos, 43 in Puebla, 12 in the State of Mexico, 4 in Guerrero and 1 in Oaxaca, although these numbers are expected to increase with the passage of time.


The Territorial Headquarters, together with the Department of Public Relations and Emergencies, as well as its Director, made contact with the different Corps through instant messaging services to verify that everybody was safe, and later to evaluate their building structures. Those who were reported to be safe and sound, were asked to go to their respective areas and provide assistance, either by preparing food such as tortas(Mexican sandwiches), water and coffee, or volunteering for any of the many tasks that the situation demands.


The Children’s Home in Mexico City, Corps No. 1, and La Esperanza, as well as different Corps such as Cuernavaca and Puebla (although communication with the latter was complicated due to the disaster) sought authorization to start working immediately. On that day in the afternoon, cadet brigades along with other Salvationists, soldiers and volunteers, assisted the rescue groups, coordinated with Civil Protection, and were given a place to offer coffee. That same night, at the corner of Obrero Mundial and Gabriel Mancera approximately 600 people received this hot drink and words of blessing and support. Meanwhile, other groups supported the removal of debris. It was already night.


The Training College School also distributed tortas, adding to the other 400 lonches (another form of Mexican sandwiches) that Hogar de Niños and La Esperanza pass on among the people. That night the electricity supply failed, so a generator was obtained to supply energy to the Territorial Headquarters and to charge some cell phones, although the cellular signal was intermittent. Later that night, the electric power service was partially recovered.


Subsequently the Department of Emergencies, led by its Secretary, toured the different disaster areas with a borrowed motorcycle and several groups of motorcyclists who offered to support us in the congested route due to intense traffic. In some areas, access is still complicated by the immense traffic and chaos that persists in streets and avenues.


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