MEXICO CITY – An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 in the midst of a pandemic hit on Tuesday to unleash the worst fear of the inhabitants of Mexico City, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country that remains at maximum risk due to illness.
When the tremor, with its epicenter in the southern state of Oaxaca, triggered the seismic alert in the capital, the first thing Alejandro Santoyo did was put on his face mask, put his turtle inside a bucket and take his personal documents.
“2020 wants to eradicate us permanently. It is very inconvenient, and what else can be said? That it is not a coincidence or something similar?” the young man from the central Avenida Alvaro Obregon said.
A few blocks away, Brandon Rodriguez had just left one of his relatives at the Obregon Hospital, but barely 20 minutes passed when the seismic alert sounded, so he returned and could hear the walls of the place creaking, which evicted dozens of sick.
“It is a year, apparently it is difficult, and this I think is part of many things. We still have a lot of 2020 ahead of us and as things stand who knows. I hope that everything will be solved in the best way,” story.
These young people reflect the feelings of the residents of Mexico City, vulnerable due to its density and infrastructure to tremors, when they suffered one on September 19, 2017 that left 228 dead and the historical one of September 19, 1985 with more than 20,000 deaths.
In addition, the earthquake shook the capital when the maximum risk of the pandemic continues, accumulating almost 43,000 cases and more than 5,500 deaths from COVID-19, about a quarter of the more than 185,000 infections and 22,500 deaths nationwide.
For this reason, Paola Aguilar left her home, near the capital’s Zocalo, with the idea of maintaining a healthy distance at all times, the policy of the Government of Mexico that is to be more than a meter and a half from other people.
“Each one with his family did place himself in his healthy distance, each small group on each side so that we did not have contact with our neighbors, but rather that my children, my husband and thus each one stopped, just a little while and we returned to go up, we have to take care of ourselves right now because of the disease,” he said.
Claudia Sheinbaum, the head of the Government of Mexico City, ruled out fatalities, collapse of buildings or serious damage to hospitals, with only two people injured.
But north of the capital, 40 families evacuated a building in the Lindavista-Vallejo Housing Unit that was damaged since before the 2017 earthquake.
“What we do not want is that they take us out so fast because our things are at risk, apart from there are also older adults who are there, it is not so easy that they can move to get their things,” said Patricia Monroy, one of the neighbors.
Meanwhile, Gloria Gonzalez prayed to God and thought about her family when the seismic alert was activated while driving between the neighborhoods of Roma and Doctores, where damage to dozens of buildings affected by the last earthquake worsened.
“You feel panic, you feel terror, you feel fear, because I did feel fear, the truth, when I saw the buildings move, my truck moved sideways, as time went by I was feeling more than the tremor was stronger,” he said.