State of emergency declared following another earthquake
“Today more than ever our beloved Mexico and all of us who are part of it,
we ask the whole world and each of you for your prayers”
On Tuesday, September 19 at 1:14 pm (local time) a 7.1-degree earthquake was recorded that claimed the lives of more than 250 people, mainly in Mexico City, Morelos and Puebla. There are reports of destruction or severe damage to numerous buildings, schools, houses, churches, and convents.
Mexico City was the most affected, causing serious damages in more than 44 parts of the capital. Many areas are without electricity, the capital airport has suspended operations and all schools and universities will remain closed in the affected states.
The population has joined in rescue work, as many people are still trapped and seek help to be rescued. The race is on to save those who are still alive.
The government has issued an alert for possible aftershocks and advised people not to return to damaged buildings and avoid driving to facilitate the work and movement of the emergency services. President Enrique Peña Nieto has activated PlanMX and convened the National Emergency Committee to assess the situation after the earthquake.
For its part, the Mexican Episcopal Conference issued a communiqué to channel and provide assistance for the emergency. It should be remembered that on September 7th another earthquake of 8.2 degrees was recorded in Mexico and the effects caused an emergency mainly in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz, regions that experienced at the same time the passage of two hurricanes.
Julieta Appendini, director of the national office of the Foundation, asks for prayers worldwide for Mexico: “We are dismayed by the magnitude of the new tragedy. The situation has been difficult. In these two weeks thousands of people were injured and despite what happened yesterday, the insecurity in Mexico was once again revealed with armed robberies, assaults, looting in stores to take advantage of the situation. Today more than ever our beloved Mexico and all of us who are part of it, we ask the whole world and each of you for your prayers. May the Lord our God and the Virgin of Guadalupe bless us and accompany us. “
ACN Mexico has just evaluated the damages of the catastrophe of the past 7days that claimed the lives of more than 250 people and left 1,479,575 injured. “We know that the churches are providing shelter for those affected and that the priests have implemented plans to meet the material and spiritual needs of the communities that are mourning the tragedy of having lost all their heritage. In addition, it is estimated that 122 churches remain closed because their structures are at risk of collapsing. Among the temples are some that were built in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,” explains Appendini.
Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Mexico is liaising with the Mexican Episcopal Conference and other organizations to provide help and information.
Pope Francis and local bishops offer prayers
Pope Francis expressed his closeness and assured his prayers, the day after the devastating earthquake that affected Mexico City and surrounding areas. He referred to the “terrible earthquake”, which caused “numerous victims and numerous material damages”, during the General Audience over which he presided in St. Peter’s Square, on Wednesday morning, 20 September.
Speaking in Spanish, Francis expressed his closeness “in this moment of grief,” and assured his prayers to “all the beloved Mexican population.” He prayed “that God receive in His bosom those who lost their life, and that He comfort the wounded, their dear ones and all the victims.”
The Pope also spoke words of encouragement to the rescue services and all those helping persons affected. “May our Mother, the Virgin of Guadalupe, be close with great tenderness to the beloved Mexican nation,” he concluded.
Following Mexico’s second major earthquake in two weeks, bishops in the country called for prayers and solidarity, asking Our Lady of Guadalupe to intercede and comfort the suffering people.
“We join in grieving the victims of the earthquake, which occurred today, Sept. 19, 2017, in different parts of our country,” said Archbishop José Francisco Robles Ortega of Guadalajara and Auxiliary Bishop Alfonso G. Miranda Guardiola of Monterrey, president and secretary general, respectively, of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference.
“Once again, we are witnessing the solidarity of the Mexican people, who see the suffering of their brother,” they said, praising the lifesaving efforts to rescue and feed those affected by the quake.
“Today more than ever, we invite the People of God to unite in solidarity for our brothers who are suffering the different calamities that have plagued our country,” the bishops urged. “We ask for the comfort of our Mother Mary of Guadalupe, so that through her intercession she may help us and strengthen us, in the reconstruction of our country.”