7.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Mexico, Death Toll Rising
WESLACO – Mexican officials are assessing the damage of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck the central state of Puebla and surrounding cities.
Jose Armora grew up in the Rio Grande Valley but now lives in the area of Mexico impacted by the quake. He described to CHANNEL 5 NEWS what happened.
Anchor: “First off all, are you OK and is your family OK?
Armora: “Yeah, everybody is OK. Thank you so much for asking.”
Anchor: “Where were you and can you describe what it was like when the earthquake hit?”
Armora: “OK, I’ve been through many earthquakes over the years. This is one of the worst ones though, this was a trepidatory. We had one real bad, 8.1 or 8.2, 15 days ago, but that was oscillatory,” he said. “And those are OK, but the trepidatory ones are the ones that go up and down and then sideways.”
“Puebla is a city that is about 500 years old. There’s a lot of old building and those were really affected. But I think it’s much worse in Mexico City.”
Anchor: “Can you tell us what Puebla looks like right now.”
Armora: “The worst parts affected are in the central park – downtown, where you have the old churches. Those were very badly hit because of these types of earthquakes,” he said. “The new buildings are built to withstand these earthquakes, but the old ones not so much.”
“Right now, they’re saying there’s about six people that died in Puebla, but in Mexico City is worse and also in Morelos. Morelos almost has 40,” he said.
“In 1985 was one of the worst ones that hit Mexico City and Puebla. And it was on Sept. 19 and today is Sept. 19,” he said.
Anchor: “On the anniversary of that massive quake back in 1985. What did you do to stay safe?”
Armora: “I live in a new part of town, so really the houses are built to withstand these. It was Ok, it wasn’t that bad. The whole house shook and some of the glass broke, but besides that it was OK,” he said. “In downtown where these old building are, some really came down and they came down on the cars. There was some damage.”
The governor of the Mexican state of Morelos, Graco Ramirez, initially said at least 42 people died. Several other reports have said the death toll continues to rise.
Officials are reporting lots of damage to buildings.