Mexican Earthquakes: Unsure Ground


Ayden Kowalski, Writer

On September 19, 2017, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City, leaving 187 people there alone dead in its wake. Among those were 22 elementary school children, with others from the school being rescued from underneath its debris. The earthquake struck on the anniversary of a prior Mexico City earthquake in 1985 that killed nearly 10,000 people. That earthquake was an 8.0 on the Richter scale, and led to building code changes and the establishment of yearly earthquake drills. One of those drills happened to be two hours before the current disaster hit.

The 2017 Mexico City earthquake occurred eleven days after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake at sea led to the deaths of more than 90 people, with 45 deaths reported from one of Mexico’s most impoverished states, Oaxaca, on the day of the disaster. A three-foot-tall tsunami struck Mexico, and places as far as New Zealand received warnings for possible tsunamis of the same nature. President Enrique Peña Nieto then mobilized the Mexican army, federal police, and marines to respond to the earthquake. And yet, barely a week later, the President would have to respond to another national emergency.

On the day of the earthquake, Cistercian student Mateo Ramirez (‘21) told people about the disaster. He mentioned how most of his family was there, and that they luckily were alright. When asked what Americans should know about the state of Mexico, he said, “That they all work together to solve it [the problems caused by the earthquake].” His family, thankfully, did not lose any significant property in the calamity.

As of the most recent countings, upwards of 270 people have died across Mexico as a result of the earthquake. There have been numerous relief efforts, but there is still much work to be done. If you can, find a way to donate through an organization you trust, as there are thousands of homeless and injured people who need help in the wake of this tragedy.