Mexico - Earthquake Fact Sheet #1, Fiscal Year (FY) 2017

from US Agency for International Development
Published on 21 Sep 2017


  • A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck central Mexico on September 19, collapsing buildings and resulting in at least 250 deaths

  • GoM declares a state of emergency in affected areas and requests international assistance

  • USAID deploys a DART, including USAR specialists, to support emergency operations in Mexico


  • At approximately 1:14 p.m. local time—or 2:14 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time—on September 19, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck central Mexico at a depth of nearly 32 miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The epicenter of the earthquake was located approximately 34 miles south-southwest of the city of Puebla and 75 miles from the capital of Mexico City. As of September 21, the Government of Mexico (GoM) and international media reported that the earthquake had resulted in at least 250 deaths, injured an estimated 1,900 people, and damaged more than 20,000 buildings.

  • Immediately after the earthquake, the GoM declared an emergency for areas of Mexico City and parts of Guerrero, Morelos, and Puebla states. The GoM also deployed first responders, including urban search-and-rescue (USAR) teams and military personnel, to assist with rescue operations in affected areas. Additionally, the GoM activated the National Emergency Commission and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Mexico City.

  • On September 20, U.S. Ambassador Roberta S. Jacobson issued a disaster declaration for Mexico due to the effects of the earthquake. In response, USAID deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), including 67 USAR specialists and five canines from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, to support emergency response efforts in coordination with the GoM. On September 20, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), in coordination with USAID, facilitated transport of the USAR team to Mexico City.

  • USAID/OFDA has activated a Response Management Team (RMT) in Washington, D.C., to coordinate the U.S. Government (USG) humanitarian response to the earthquake.