A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City at 2:14pm local time on September 19. The powerful earthquake left at least 225 people dead and caused the collapse of dozens of buildings, trapping hundreds beneath the rubble. This quake comes just two weeks after the 8.1 magnitude Chiapas earthquake, which left 90 dead. International Medical Corps teams are deploying to Mexico City to support recovery assessments in Mexico City and Chiapas and offer technical expertise and supplies as needed.
In addition to taking 225 lives and trapping people under the rubble of collapsed buildings, the earthquake near Mexico City severed pipelines, sparked fires and left roads impassable. Power and mobile signals remain down in most of the affected region. The earthquake on September 7 affected two of Mexico's poorest states, Chiapas and Oaxaca. Many of these citizens lacked healthcare, clean water and electricity prior to the earthquake and are now at even higher risk for the spread of disease.
Based on rapid assessments and needs identified by local partners, International Medical Corps will provide technical expertise and materials as appropriate, including primary health care; water, sanitation and hygiene support; mental health and psychosocial support, especially for those in Morelo and Puebla at the epicenter of the quake, Mexico City, and in Chiapas; logistics support for building assessments in the collapse zones; and the procurement and distribution of medication and supplies.
While the most pressing needs will be addressed first, our focus on self-reliance in tandem with relief efforts will ensure that a lasting impact is made in the region. A pre-eminent first responder for more than three decades, International Medical Corps has extensive experience providing medical care and other lifesaving relief in the aftermath of disasters, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines in 2013, the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, and Hurricane Matthew in Haiti in 2016.