Earthquake in Mexico updated Apr 2003

Mexico is recovering from a massive earthquake that struck the country on January 21. The quake measured 7.6 on the Richter Scale and damaged or destroyed nearly 12,300 houses and other critical structures (schools, businesses, roads, etc.), and was strong enough to be felt in 13 states. A second quake, measuring 5.8 struck the following day escalating the damage. In the week following the quake, some 29 aftershocks of different magnitudes were recorded throughout the region.
The last numbers showed that at least 22 people had been killed and more than 500 were injured, most in the hardest hit state of Colima where President Vicente Fox declared a state of emergency.

Catholic Relief Services Responds

Shortly after the earthquake, Catholic Relief Services staff visited Colima along with our partners Caritas Mexicana and the Social Pastoral Episcopal Commission to assess the damage and determine the aid needed. As a result, CRS provided an initial $20,000 toward the emergency response in Mexico. Now that the immediate needs of those affected by the earthquake have been met, CRS is working on a longer-term housing reconstruction project in Colima.


The January 21 earthquake is among the 10 worst to strike Mexico in the last 25 years. Many of those killed died during landslides following the earthquake. Power, telephone and gas outages were also reported in some of the hardest hit areas, and schools and businesses were closed throughout Colima for several days. Shelters were opened in all of the affected areas, but many people, fearful of aftershocks or more quakes, chose to sleep outside on the street.

CRS has been supporting human development and humanitarian efforts in Mexico since the 1960s. The agency has supported health and rural development projects, provided emergency assistance after disasters such as the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City, and are now expanding its activities to include both the southern and northern regions of the country.

Your support is needed.

Donations can also be made by calling:
or by sending checks to:
P.O. Box 17090
Baltimore, Maryland 21203-7090.

Copyright=A92003 CRS