On 19 September at 1:14 pm (local time), a devastating earthquake struck Mexico.
Measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, the earthquake is the deadliest to hit the country in 30 years. More than 248 people are already known to have died and more than 700 people have been injured. The numbers are expected to rise.
Countless buildings and public utilities have collapsed, and large areas of Mexico City and Morelos have no water or electricity. Communication is also intermittent. Over 209 schools in Mexico City have been affected, and at least 15 of them are severely damaged. The government of Mexico City has called for basic aid supplies and personal hygiene items. Aid personnel on certain sites are removing debris where people are believed to be trapped.
The epicentre of the earthquake was in Axochiapan, Morelos, approximately 120 kilometres from Mexico City; 11 aftershocks have officially been registered. The earthquake struck just two weeks after the previous one hit Mexico on 7 September.
Oxfam Mexico is equipped to provide immediate assistance in disasters like this and is currently planning an initial response.
The Oxfam Mexico office has been badly damaged, but all staff members were evacuated, and colleagues have been accounted for as safe and well. A temporary base is being set up, however communication with the team is patchy.
Oxfam is preparing to respond to the devastating earthquake in Morelos and Puebla, the two worst affected provinces. We plan to provide them with:
- water, food and temporary shelter to meet survivors’ immediate needs
- water and sanitation to prevent the outbreak of disease
People's safety, especially that of women and girls, is Oxfam's top priority in this emergency project.