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Author Topic: Mexico City Earthquake  (Read 182 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: September 20, 2017, 01:13:42 am »

I just heard that an earthquake originating in the state of Puebla has affected Mexico City.

I'm writing this is support of our Mexican Steampunks brethren, as well as the Mexican people as a whole, praying for the victims and wishing everyone else is alright. I have a personal interest because I'm an American who was raised in that city from the age of 16 months, until the age of 17. I was in high school during the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City.

The earthquake, magnitude 7.x is not quite as strong as the one who hit Mexico City in 1985 (8.x magnitude), but BBC is reporting it was strong enough to topple at least 27 buildings, and cut electrical services to a few million people, thus making this a major earthquake event. The city streets are being cleared for emergency vehicles, as that was a major issue during the 1985 economy event.

Note this is one of the largest cities in the world; in the mid 1980s the metro area was over 22 million people, if I remember correctly, so make sure to take that into account... All statistics will seem unusually large. So far, reported casualties are less than 10 in México City, but based on my experience, you will have people trapped under rubble so that figure is likely to go much higher. The Valley of Mexico is a giant basin containing 3 volcanoes as well as the cities of Puebla and Mexico City. The weak point is the center over which Mexico City lies and which is a dry lake bed. In 1985, the casualties were in the order of 6000, but that was a stronger earthquake at least one order of magnitude stronger - 10 times energy wise). The ground liquefaction and circular standing wave oscillations (like ripples in a pond) in the ground mostly affected tall space frame and reinforced concrete buildings, rather than smaller homes.

In 1985 the response from the public was nothing short of beautiful. The country united and everyone became a helper during the following two weeks after the catastrophe, in a show of civic duty which I've never seen since anywhere. The first instinct of people back then was to provide food and clothing, until the Red Cross pleaded with the public to shift donations to money and medicines.. Back then, all high-school students including yours truly, were organized into teams, and for 2 weeks, those who could drive transported medicines and people to and from the downtown area which was the worst affected. From the very first day, the private sector provided heavy equipment as needed to aid with the rescue efforts, because the government was ill equipped to deal with the sudden event. Those are the events I can recall.

Things have changed, and mexico is a more modern country now, and the government will be better prepared, but I expect the response of the public to be the same now as it was back then. The only thing I fear is the final tally.

I pray for the safety of the citizens down there as well as that of friends and family.

JW

« Last Edit: September 20, 2017, 01:15:52 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

MWBailey
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« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 05:04:03 am »

Prayers for the people of Mexico City and you and yours, Admiral.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 07:28:44 am »

Prayers for the people of Mexico City and you and yours, Admiral.

Thank you, Mr. Bailey. I can follow the tweets by the various Steampunks and one of my best High School buddies, and know that that everyone I know in the Steampunk crowd is most likely safe, given the information. The Steampunk girl below is busy relaying information on missing people, aid centres and shelters, and the like:

https://twitter.com/RosalieMort

Fortunately, the casualties, like in the case of the last hurricanes in the US, were very low compared to the damage caused by the disaster.

As promised, the young folk started to self organize first that most

https://twitter.com/UNAM_MX/status/910320509383999488
https://twitter.com/UNAM_MX/status/910587303533305856

And the University Fire-fighters who got involved in that school rescue that made the news were significantly better equipped now. A great number of years have passed, and experience in dealing with earthquakes has meant that response was a lot swifter this time around:

https://twitter.com/UNAM_MX/status/910670970150567936

The level of overall organization this time around is high due to the presence of the Internet (map of damage, government aid centres and shelters throughout the city. As usual, the posh part of town, the Southwest area, is where you see the least damage, while most of the damage is in the downtown area more or less in a north/south orientation.

https://www.gob.mx/ (Damage/Shelter/Aid centers map and Govt. resources website)
https://twitter.com/CruzRoja_MX/status/910334445571289088 (Red Cross Twitter feed)

My high school buddy is a tenured college professor and he looks very busy transferring useful Earthquake related information via the Internet. I sent him a message but I've been so busy it's impossible to talk during the day. Most people have made themselves useful by availing themselves of the Internet Media.

Right now, I'm "having a cow", digging up contact emails and info on my family members. I would only have recent contacts for the French/Mexican side of the family, the descendants of my other great grandparents, as the closest Italian relatives from Mexico City actually moved to the US in the late 80s around the same time we did (and most have died of old age, except for two "uncles" near my own age who live in New York and California) And the Basque members who I know do Facebook live in Monterrey in northern Mexico, so I know they're perfectly safe.

But getting the names of the French side in Mexico City is proving most difficult with the phone books long buried in archives in my storage place. I know I emailed my grandmothers' nieces (they'd be the great grandnieces of the 3 1890's French couples I've long talked about), and they were living with their late mother around 2010 in Mexico City, in a very "New York City" type of environment- a small expensive apartment in a building downtown. The group of 3 women, the "3 Marcelas" as we nicknamed them, were a lady about my late grandmother's age, and her two daughters, who never married - but they were very close to us and dear to my heart.  I had a crush on the younger sister when I was a little kid Cheesy They practically lived at our house when I was a kid in the 1970s, as their family had broken up due to a bad divorce in an abusive relationship, so my grandmother and her cousin were very close friends.

I heard from them around 2010 (when we sent my grandfather to a nursing home), that their mother had passed and the two sisters were still living together.  The older daughter was a Gillette junior executive in Mexico City for many, many years (decades), but due to her age I'm suspecting the older sister would be close to retirement by now, so I don't know if I can use corporate website resources. But I just can't find any records in my modern devices - I'll try my Linux Thunderbird email archive to see if I have something.  I don't know if the Marcelas "do Facebook"... (dammit! everybody is old now)

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BonkPrismine
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 01:28:08 am »

All these hurricanes and earthquakes happening this season are insane. Hope everyone is OK.
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