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Well my hands are shaky and my knees are weak…

21 March 2012

We didn’t feel a thing here in Mazatlán, but something caused a seismic jump on my hit-meter just after 11 a.m. Mexfiles time.

The most serious damage from the 7.8 +/- Richter Scale earthquake was arount the epicenter on the Guerrero/Oaxaca border, where several hundred homes are reportedly damaged.  This is Triqui country, and these are presumably small homes, probably adobe or otherwise less earthquake proof than concrete houses.  Mexican civil defense (mostly handled by the Army) is usually very good about responding to these kinds of disasters, and I wouldn’t be surprised if rebuilding (with concrete blocks) would start this week.

Photo: Fernando Ramírez, El Universal

“pOgue”, visiting Mexico City, wrote on the Lonely Planet’s Thorn Tree Message Board:

So, to summarize the breaking Mexico City situation… Part of a wall of a pedestrian bridge came loose and flattened an empty pesero, while office workers spent the afternoon chatting in the lovely spring weather. Also, some people’s cell phones briefly stopped working. (although not mine, otherwise I wouldn’t be posting to this thread.)

That empty pesaro has been the front page photo in all the newspapers, being the only dramatic damage photo around.  People were shaken up… emotionally and physically),  and it will be a while before all the structural damage is known, but for an extremely powerful earthquake, the story is the non-story.  Mexico City’s new earthquake warning system functioned (giving people at least a few seconds warning to start leaving their buildings) and the seriousness with which Mexico has taken earthquake preparedness and strict building codes since the 1985 disaster have more than proved themselves.

A few hospitals evacuated patients as a precautionary measure, people left their offices and houses, some windows were broken (quite a few windows, but that always happens) and crockery smashed, a wall fell on some cars parked outside a school in Ecatepec, schools let out early in most places, phone and elerical service was interrupted for a couple of hours (we couldn’t complete one transaction at our local bank today, because of computer problems in Mexico City) and water mains were broken in various communities…. but… as a correspondent who happened to be in the Zona Rosa at the time tells me… the sex clubs and dark rooms didn’t close:  maybe some of the denizens of those dens of iniquity really did feel the earth move for them.

Uhh… huhhh, uhh…. huhhhhh.  Hey-ayyyyyy:

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