By Aliezah Hulett, International News Writer
An earthquake of magnitude 8.1 shook the lives of 50 million people on the evening of Thursday, September 7th, 2017. The epicenter was 100 miles off the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, shaking El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
Mere hours after the biggest earthquake in Mexican history since 1985, President Enrique Peña Nieto addressed the nation saying, “…the population is safe over all. There should not be a major sense of panic.”
However, the residents of Mexico are still rattled after fleeing outdoors into the dark street around midnight, with alarms blaring, windows shattering, and walls tumbling. Residents of the nation’s capital, Mexico City, about 500 miles south of the epicenter, were reported standing outside their homes watching buildings, light posts, and monuments sway back and forth.
The devastation to houses, schools, hospitals, and government offices forced residents to evacuate—especially those near the coast. In Chiapas, an infant on a ventilator passed away after a hospital lost power and two women were reported dead after buildings crumbled on top of them. Casualties were reported in the neighboring state of Tabasco, where two children were also killed by being crushed beneath rubble.
Those working at a hospital were able to evacuate patients and care for them in an empty lot nearby with only the light of their cellphones to see
According to CNN, there were 58 casualties. In a series of tweets, President Nieto reported over 200 injured and over 260 aftershocks, ranging from 4.3 to 6.1 on the seismic scale.
Despite many fears for tsunamis, Mexico has not been affected by the four foot waves impacting the coast. There could have been up to 10 foot waves, but that time period has passed. Other nations are not under any threat of a tsunami.
A tremor that measured 6.9 created problems for Guatemala and Mexico in June. This recent earthquake has exacerbated the previous damages and now many more areas all require reconstruction.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, September 12th print edition.
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