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Acorn Update: Earthquake Strikes Mexico, Hurricane Maria, Barbuda Deserted

3 mins read

By Colleen Dabrowski

A second deadly earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday, with the epicenter just 650 feet from the September 8 quake. The second earthquake was a 7.1 magnitude, a small step down from the 8.1 magnitude that struck just two weeks earlier. The quake claimed the lives of at least 230 people and caused significant damage to buildings and roadways. Experts told CNN that Mexico City was particularly at risk from earthquakes because of its location. Mexico City is built on top of what was once a shallow lakebed and is now soft and wet earth. One seismologist told CNN that it “shak[es] like Jell-O on a plate.” According to the LA Times, the quake struck on the anniversary of a 1985 temblor that claimed the lives of thousands and devastated parts of Mexico City. “American media is shit, and just sort of mentioned it,” Regina Sarquis (‘21), an international student from Mexico, said. While the earthquake was felt throughout most of the center of the country, most media coverage has focused exclusively on Mexico City and offers no information on how to help. Sarquis concluded her conversation with the Acorn by saying that “[members of the Drew community that want to help] can donate to Topos, the Mexican rescue team.”

Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm, slammed through Puerto Rico Wednesday. After Hurricane Irma, which left three people dead and 70% of the island without power, Puerto Rico was devastated. Now, after suffering the destruction of two major storms in a matter of weeks, Puerto Rico is 100% without power and with at least one more person dead. It has been estimated by government officials that Puerto Rico will be without power for months, meaning that their water supply pumps will be nonfunctioning. Iliana Méndez (‘19) has family from Puerto Rico and in a conversation with the Acorn said, “They’re prepared to live without electricity for months[.] The infrastructure, which was already failing to begin with, took a huge hit from Hurricane Irma, which is going to worsen the economic crisis the island is currently experiencing.”  Further, it was reported that 95% of the islands wireless cell sites were nonfunctioning as well.

The Caribbean island of Barbuda has been deemed uninhabitable following Hurricane Irma and now stands entirely deserted. Ronald Sanders, the Antigua and Barbuda ambassador to the U.S., told CNN “A civilization that has existed on that island for close to 300 years has been extinguished.” According to the CIA World Factbook, the population of the island was reported to be 94,731 in July, with the majority of citizens living on Antigua. At least 1,700 people were evacuated to Antigua, which was not damaged so severely. At least one death was reported.

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