September 19, 2017
Attached is a credible Peace Corps update on the earthquake in Mexico earlier today. I’m still alive & well in Querétaro, but it looks like there was significant damage close to where I’m scheduled to to relocated to on Fri. (INAOE is located in Tonantzintla, a small suburb of Puebla near Cholula). I will get more details tomorrow and again on Thur. when we’re scheduled to meet with our site counterparts here at the Peace Corps Mexico office in Querétaro. Thanks for your concern, and I will let you know if the situation changes. Meanwhile, I apologize for previously sending out an incorrect Mexican phone number. My new correct cell #, dialing from the US, is +52-1-(222) 119-2361. Doug/David/Dad
By now you should all have been contacted by your Emergency Staff Coordinator about the recent earthquakes that hit Puebla and Morelos today.
The following bullets are main points of today’s events as well as the status of PC/Mexico’s operations:
- At 1:14pm local time today a preliminary 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Puebla, Mexico. Apparently there was another earthquake that struck in the state of Guerrero near Acapulco.
- The epicenter of the Puebla quake was about 2.8 miles east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles south-southwest of the city of Puebla.
- It was felt in the center of Mexico City, which is only about 75 miles away, and had a depth of 33 miles, according to USGS.
- Twenty-seven buildings were reported to have collapsed in Mexico City while others have been seriously damaged.
- The death toll at the time of this writing is:
- Puebla: 13
- Morelos: 42
- Mexico City: 44
- The extent of the damage in the areas hit are still being assessed.
- Peace Corps Mexico has activated its Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and is putting its Volunteers on standfast.
- All PCM staff (USDHs and PSCs have been accounted for). PCM’s normal operations have not been affected.
- Volunteers have been notified of the standfast and have been asked to report their whereabouts and the current status of their community. Remember that during a standfast, you are not allowed to leave your site/community.
- As of this writing (6:30 pm) 96% of our Volunteers have been accounted for. Three Volunteers do not have regular cell phone coverage, but their sites are in the northern part of Queretaro state where no seismic activity has been reported. While we will continue to try to contact them, we are confident that they are ok and that we will hear from them shortly.
- As per VIDA, there are no visiting Volunteers in Mexico. One Volunteer who was planning on visiting later this week from Guatemala has been instructed to postpone her visit.
- As per the whereabouts report, no Volunteers are in the immediate areas affected.
- While Volunteers in the states of Central Queretaro, Puebla, Tlaxcala, and Hidalgo have felt some shaking, temporary cell phone outages, and temporary loss of electricity, no major impacts have been reported.
- The Regional Security Office at the US Embassy has been notified and we are on constant communication with them as well as with Peace Corps/Washington.
- Our EAP committee will reconvene tomorrow, Wednesday at 9:00 am local time to further assess the situation and decide what to do about the standfast.
- After today’s earthquakes, aftershocks are likely to happen. If another quake or any significant aftershocks occur at your sites today or tomorrow or where you are stand fasting, please let us know immediately about it and that you are safe-call/text/WhatsApp anytime! Staff will evaluate the standfast status tomorrow morning and will send another message sometime mid-morning.
- Remember to keep your phone charged.
- If power or cell signal goes out, think about alternatives ways of communicating with us.
- Ensure that you have adequate supplies of food and water for the next few days.
- Have a working flashlight on hand.
- Please read and become familiar with the important information at the end of this email of what to do in the case of an Earthquake.
As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or doubts, contact us.
James “ Jaime” Kuklinski
Country Director/Director del Pais
Peace Corps México
Av. Universidad #202 | Querétaro, Qro. México 76020
Tel: 442 238-6900 | cel. 442 250 2680 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s earthquake reminds us that we should all know how to respond to an earthquake when it occurs. The following information comes from the Emergency Preparedness and Response section of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.