• Some fearfully recall their experiences with earthquakes; at the consulate they say that there is no aid program

Consternation, fear, nervousness and thoughts of solidarity were part of the reaction of Mexicans living in Los Angeles to the great 7.7-magnitude earthquake that shook the country that gave birth to them on Monday.

In fact, some interviewed by La Opinion highlighted that the fateful September 19 is already an indelible date in their minds: in 1985 and 2017- two intense earthquakes claimed thousands of lives.
And at the Mexican consulate general in Los Angeles, an official whose name we omitted replied that “at the moment” at the diplomatic headquarters “there is no [aid] program for their fellow nationals. “If it is needed we will let them know.”

The epicenter of the trepidatory movement of September 19 of this year was Coalcomán, in the state of Michoacán and it was felt in numerous states.

With tears streaming down her face, Martina Chávez, a 52-year-old housewife from Tecomán, Colima, said that she had not been able to communicate with her relatives for several hours since 11:05 in the morning when the earthquake struck.

“I have eight brothers and sisters there and I don’t want to say anything to my sister Veronica who lives here because she had a heart attack and I have her hospitalized,” she declared.

A relevant aftershock of 5.3 degrees occurred in her homeland, at about 12:30 p.m. (Los Angeles time), according to the National Seismological Service of Mexico.
“I don’t even want to watch the news; They make me too nervous,” added Mrs. Chávez.

“Everything’s fine”

Rosi Ayala, 53, a countrywoman of Mrs. Martina and born in the city of Colima, commented that her brother Rosario de Ella let her know through a video call that “everything is fine with the family.”
“That reassured me because more than an hour passed after the tremor and I couldn’t communicate,” said the owner of Pepe’s Thrift Shop, a second-hand furniture store located on 8th Street in Los Angeles.

In Mexico, every September 19 in Mexico National Civil Protection Day is commemorated, which includes an earthquake drill, and in California, -a state also prone to earthquakes- and where Mrs. Ayala lives, she said she is aware of them and It has “always” been prepared to respond to an emergency of this nature.

“I have a kit prepared with first aid items, and the essentials such as water and medicine,” she assured.

“I’m not ready”

Aimar Salvador, a student at the Robert F. Kennedy Arts High School, said that he was near Tuxtepec, Veracruz, when the earthquake occurred on September 19, 2017.
“I remember that it shook very strongly in Puebla, and although we were a little farther away, we also felt it and it was ugly.”

And if there is a strong tremor in California, are you prepared?, he asked.

“I hadn’t thought about it,” the 17-year-old replied.

Avelino Macías, 48, a restaurant worker, stated that he felt “relieved” because initially no injuries or fatalities had been reported.

However, a fence that collapsed in a building in Manzanillo, Colima, crushed a woman who died instantly. So far the identity of the victim is unknown.
“I know it was a terrible thing, but I also know that we Mexicans can help each other when it is most needed,” Avelino said.

For his part, Raúl Sánchez, a 65-year-old paletero from Michoacan, recalled that, during the earthquake of September 19, 2017, there was confusion and power cuts in his town.

“The light poles swayed from one side to the other, and that scares one,” he told La Opinion. “The earth moved very ugly.”

According to the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the earthquake of September 19, 1985 released 32 times more seismic energy than that of September 19, 2017.

“I thought the earth was going to open up,” said Beatriz Hernández, originally from Santiago Matatlán, Oaxaca, regarding the earthquake five years ago. “It was very strong.”

Indeed, that earthquake occurred on Tuesday, September 19, at 1:14 in the afternoon. It had a magnitude of 7.1 and its epicenter was located 12 kilometers southeast of Axochiapan, Morelos, according to the National Seismological Service of Mexico. It happened 12 days after the Chiapas earthquake.

“If you have to help with something, I’m willing,” said Manuel Arroyo, originally from Durango and husband of Beatriz. “This is how we Mexicans are, in solidarity in tragedies.”

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