30 years later, Mexico City is ready for the next big earthquake

The authorities claim to be better organized and have better technology.

The government of Mexico City marked the date with a drill. The head of the Department of Public Security, Hiram Almeida Estrada, said that the city is better prepared. (Photo: Christian Mendoza)
English 19/09/2015 19:24 Mexico City Actualizada 19:25

Mexico City is better prepared now to respond in the event of a great magnitude earthquake, such as the one that left massive devastation this day 30 years ago, expressed the head of the Department of Public Security of Mexico City, Hiram Almeida Estrada.

"Today we are more organized, better built (sic) with high capacities, including technology .... Let us hope that we don't have to use it, but we're ready today, 30 years later, to do things differently," he said.

After a ceremony in honor of the people killed during the powerful earthquake on September 19, 1985, Almeida Estrada expressed that the constant drills enforced in public and private buildings are of capital importance, as well as a better monitoring system.

"Today technology is crucial, we have more inputs, vehicles, transportation, helicopters and a larger organization on the part of the institutions in charge of the security and civil protection", he added.

The 1985 earthquake struck at 8:17 am, local time, with a magnitude of 8.0. The event caused serious damage in Mexico City and the deaths of at least 5,000 people.

A subsequent aftershock occurred on September 20, with a magnitude of 7.5, and a second one on April 30, 1986, with a magnitude of 7.0.

The city suffered major damage due to its large magnitude and the ancient lake bed that Mexico City sits on. The event caused between three and four billion dollars in damage as 412 buildings collapsed and more than 3,000 were seriously damaged.

Reports have numbered the dead anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000, going as far as 45,000 claimed by the National Seismological Service.