Earthquakes rattle the future of México

Camille Botello, Staff Writer

Many Linfield students with ties to México are worried for the safety of their friends, family and country in wake of the powerful earthquakes that hit southern Mexico this month.

Melissa Garibay, a sophomore business management and intercultural communications double major, is one such student.

Although most of her family lives in Michoacán state, she was concerned about her aunt that currently lives in Mexico City, about 100 miles from where the 7.1 magnitude quake struck on Sept. 19.

The death toll in Mexico City has risen to about 250 people, according to CNN.

Garibay said, I first heard about the earthquake in the middle of class. That being the case, I didn’t have that much information on where and how bad the earthquake was. I panicked.”

Linfield Nursing major Lupe Felix is a native of Culiacán Sinaloa, which is about 760 miles north of Mexico City.

“A couple days ago a small earthquake hit my home city,” Felix said, but said it wasn’t near the magnitude of the other quakes.

Office buildings and schools crumbled in Mexico’s capital city, but perhaps the most devastating effect of the earthquake was the collapse of the Enrique Rébsamen elementary school where 21 children have been reported dead by CNN.

I was able to call my mom and ask her if she had heard anything. She let me know that everyone she called was fine and that she would check on my aunt and her family as soon as she could. Knowing that I felt relieved,” Garibay said.

The first earthquake that struck on Sept. 7 was stronger than its successor, striking at an 8.1 magnitude near Pijijiapan, México. The aftershock reverberated through northern Guatemala.

I think most will rely on family to support one another and find strength through them,” Garibay said about how she thinks Mexicans will cope with the devastation of the earthquakes.

Mexico City has about the same number of residents as New York City in about one-fifth of the square miles, as reported by New Geography.

Because of the high population density of Mexico City, the earthquake that rattled the capital caused more damage than the previous one that struck Pijijiapan.

Its 6.1 aftershock shook the Mexican state of Oaxaca on Saturday, claiming two more lives at least and more city buildings, reported the Los Angeles Times.

“It affects all Mexicans because we have an extremely corrupt government and the affected people are the poor people. They are the ones who lose their houses and close ones,” Felix said.

Seismologists have concluded that southern Mexico is prone to earthquakes because the country sits over two tectonic plates: the Coos and the North American. When these plates slide past each other their contact produces powerful tremors on land, according to the BBC.

The New York Times released a list of charities accepting donations for the Mexican earthquake relief efforts: Topos México, the Mexican Red Cross, Direct Relief, GlobalGiving and Fondo Unido México have been quick to provide aid to survivors of the devastation of the quakes, along with many volunteers throughout the country.

“We just stay united and continue pushing,” Felix concluded.