7.2 earthquake rocks Northern Mexico- three die
The ground shook, the roads buckled and the Mexican people stood tall. In a completely unexpected turn of events, Mexico remained in tact after a 7.2 massive earthquake struck on Easter Sunday.
“Thank God it was Easter Sunday and families were enjoying what remained of a holiday afternoon,” said Laura De Valdez the mayor of Mexicali’s wife. Lucky indeed, the 7.2 magnitude quake shattered nerves and forced mineral water reeking of sulfur to the surface concerning the Guadalupe Victoria farming community located 25 miles south east of Mexicali.
The bulk of the damage was broken windows, downed power lines and stressed roadways.
After the major quake and aftershocks subsided the Mayor of Mexicali, Mexico, Rodolfo Valdez Gutierrez surveyed the community and was thankful there were only three deaths reported and approximately 200 minor injuries.
“We are asking the people in the region to conserve energy and try to not tie up the phones lines so we can get help to those who need it,” Mayor Gutierrez said. “We want everyone to remain calm as we survey the damage and get Mexicali back on line.”
Once assignments were handed out the Mayor of Mexicali met with Felipe Calderon the President of Mexico and toured the areas with the most damage. “The fact the President of Mexico took time to visit with the shaken people of Northern Mexico means a lot to us,” a relief victim said.
After the main trembler pushed through Baja, Mexico residents spilled onto the streets afraid their homes would collapse leaving most sleeping outdoors without electricity or running water.
As dawn broke Mexicans were clearly shaken by the dozens of aftershocks that rattled throughout the night. Doctors and nurses began making their way to area hospitals and relief centers looking to lend a hand.
In the border town of Mexicali, patients were treated outside the hospital itself due to the damage the health facility sustained after the 7.2 earthquake. As the day unfolded health officials began the process of assessing damage in the outlying areas and in particular the earthquake’s epicenter.
“The quake began with a hard up and down jolt, then it moved in a sideways motion. It was just like the movies,” said Dr. Alfredo Gruel head of Mexicali’s version of the Health and Human Services Department.
The day after the large quake, inconsistent numbers flooded the relief outpost. The epicenter was located near the rural farming community of Guadalupe Victoria that is the home to more than 6,700 families.
Once the word spread that help had arrived, hundreds showed up looking for various types of aid. The Mayor of Mexicali’s wife and her staff organized the relief center in Guadalupe Victoria’s main park.
Shaken residents were waiting in lines to collect food, water, blankets and medical supplies. “It was good to see that we did not have major injuries to deal with here, just cuts and bruises,” Valdez explained. “The medical doctors sat at stations checking vital signs and dispensing appropriate medication.”
Remarkably, the communities in and around the 7.2 earthquake withstood the violent shaking. Ramshackle homes that dot the side of the road were still upright and habitable. The concern moving forward will turn to getting the power and water up and running to prevent sickness, as summer is right around the corner.
The significant damage of property was reserved for newer large manufacturing buildings, objects inside homes, roads and power lines.
“The roads were pretty beat up, yet they were drivable,” said Dr. Gruel.
There was little damage in Tijuana, Mexico and vacationers were able to carrying on with activities despite the earthquake.
“No damage just a lot of scared people. The structures are all in tact in Tijuana and water and electric are working fine,” said Tijuana resident Mike Marin. “The phone system was a little sporadic, but I think it has to do with the saturation of the lines.”
The relief workers and government officials were quick to spring into action and they made sure those affected by the earthquake were calm and they received the necessary care.
The toughest part of the trip to Northern Mexico was crossing back into the U.S. Many families visiting relatives and tourists sought refuge north of the border creating a line that stretched miles and miles.
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