Oaxaca still struggles after earthquake

Several isolated communities in the state of Oaxaca have not yet received assistance

National Defense members continue the search & rescue efforts in Juchitlán, Oaxaca – Photo by David de la Paz/XINHUA
English 10/09/2017 11:12 Newsroom Actualizada 13:49
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The extent of the damage left by the 8.2 magnitude earthquakes which shook the southern part of Mexico is still being assessed. So far, it has been confirmed that 90 people have lost their lives (71 in Oaxaca, 15 in Chiapas, and 4 in Tabasco) and the number of provincial cities affected by the quake keeps increasing.

Isolated communities are desperate for help because so far no authorities have arrived to assist them. The National Civil Protection Coordinator of the Ministry of the Interior, Luis Felipe Puente, has said they continue to seek for communities which could have been affected by the quake on September 7.

Juchitlán de Zaragoza in Oaxaca, was the most devastated municipality, with a death toll of 71 – which is expected to rise as there are yet many unidentified bodies and many people are still trapped in debris, particularly in the towns of Unión Hidalgo, Asunción, Ixtaltepec, Ciudad Ixtepec, San Francisco del Mar and San Mateo del Mar – which until yesterday had not yet received government assistance.

Mr. Puente has explained that for this type of catastrophes, they first identify the most damaged urban areas, and from there they spread to the isolated communities which were also affected – communities with no telephone, or electrical grid, and whose access roads were damaged by the catastrophe.

Given that Oaxaca is a state with several small and isolated communities, Mr. Puente has emphasized that Civil Protection is working with the Army, the Navy, and the Federal Police, to look for alternatives that can allow them to reach these detached locations.

The Secretary of Health, José Narro, has announced that engineers from the Mexican Oil Institute are working on the reconstruction of the General Hospital in Juchitlán, Oaxaca.

Among the international organizations currently providing assistance, Google has enabled a donation button, while Starbucks said in a statement released on social media, that their 610 stores will serve as collection centers of basic consumables and supplies to be sent to the victims.


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