Sept, 19, 2017 México City Global children’s humanitarian agency World Vision is deploying its staff to respond to a major 7.1 earthquake that rocked Mexico City and the surrounding region following reports of collapsed buildings and multiple deaths.

Staff reported that thousands of people fled into the streets when the powerful quake left buildings swaying. They witnessed people fearfully congregating outside for fear of further tremors and saw damaged buildings and cracked roads. 

Victor Martinez, WV Latin America communications specialist, said: “I was at home when I felt this tremendous shaking. I live in in eastern Mexico City which sits on what was a lake. That led to a really intense set of horrifying shocks.  The floor felt like it was jumping up and down.  The walls began rumbling and I knew I had to get out of the building.  People were terrified.”

He said he saw hundreds of people in the street and rushing to schools to pick up their children. The news was full of reports of building damage and local telephone and power lines were also cut.

World Vision has extensive development and humanitarian work in Mexico and was already responding to an 8.1 quake which struck Mexico on Thursday, September 7, and which killed more than 90 people.  There are early reports of dozens dead following this latest quake.

World Vision Mexico’s National Director, Silvia Novoa, said “staff would be deployed where possible to assist with debris removal and will coordinate with other response agencies to provide aid to the affected children and families”. Preliminary reports account two primary schools collapsed in Mexico City.

“We will be working closely with the government to assess the situation not just in Mexico City but in the surrounding rural and urban areas.  Our staff are on standby to respond with aid where it will be most needed, working with partners, if necessary. We are most concerned about children who can be terrified by events like these that can destroy places they love and leave them deeply unsettled.”