Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mexico City Earthquake - 25 Years On

On September 19th of this year, Mexico City observed the 25th anniversary of a devastating earthquake that in 1985 killed between 6000 and 35000 people and flattened numerous buildings, schools, and a major hospital. Every year since that quake, the Mexico City government has run major earthquake drills at all public buildings. Many businesses also participate. This year's simulation involved over 6 million people.

Living in Mexico City means I'm sure to feel another big one sooner or later. I've felt a number of smaller tremors over the years and one good sized shake in 2003. It's not something one can get used but nor is it something you live in fear of everyday. You just hope you know what to do when another big shake comes along.

The most recent simulation generated a report that some 3000 buildings in the city are at risk of serious damage should another monster 8.1 quake occur as did in 1985. At risk are buildings in Iztapalapa, Cuauhtemoc, and Venustiano Carranza districts (none of which I live in) as buildings in those areas are quite old and both underground and overhead infrastructure present particular risk in these high-density areas.

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