Panama/Geneva, 20 September 2017 – Dozens of Mexican Red Cross teams have been working into the night, searching for survivors, ferrying injured to medical centres and providing on the spot first aid following yesterday’s deadly earthquake. The magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck central and southern Mexico killing more than 200 people, according to the government.
Buildings in Mexico City and Puebla, near the quake’s epicentre, have collapsed, and there are reports of severe damage to infrastructure, including collapsed bridges. The Mexican Red Cross has deployed dozens of doctors and nurses, alongside more than 90 ambulances and its urban rescue unit. In all, more than 500 volunteers and staff were activated in the hours immediately following the disaster.
Additional urban rescue units, ambulances and logistics support has been deployed to the disaster zone from Jalico in western Mexico.
“The situation is desperate with many people trapped under rubble, including children who were at school when the earthquake struck,” said Pascale Meige, Director of Disaster and Crisis Response at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). “The Mexican Red Cross has extraordinary capacity as it responds to two major earthquakes less than two weeks apart and tropical storms Lidia and Katia, which hit in early September. Hundreds of Red Cross paramedics are out there right now trying to save lives in what is always a race against time,” she said.
Yesterday’s earthquake comes after a powerful 8.2 magnitude tremor killed nearly 100 people in the south-east of the country on 7 September. More than 2,000 Red Cross volunteers continue to provide humanitarian assistance to communities affected by that disaster in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.