• On 19 September 2017, at 13:14 hours, an earthquake of 7.1 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Central Mexico, with its epicenter in Axiochapan, Morelos.
• As of 5:15 am, 20 September, 216 deaths were reported.
• The highest number of deaths were in Mexico City (117), and Morelos, followed by Puebla.
• 212 schools were affected in Mexico City and 217 schools affected in Puebla. (Source: Televisa).
• Government has activated the PLAN MX, which coordinates federal aid efforts for the population through the National Emergency Committee.
• Classes and government offices have been suspended until further notice in Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos.
• UNICEF has an ongoing response effort in Oaxaca and Chiapas, which were both affected by the 8.2 Richter scale earthquake on 7 September 2017 and will respond simultaneously in the affected areas of Central Mexico.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.1 Richter scale struck Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos at 13:14 hours on 19 September 2017, two hours after a nationwide earthquake simulation. Mexico City is heavily affected with a total number of 45 buildings that have collapsed, while in Puebla, 122 municipalities are declared under a state of emergency, as are are 33 municipalities in the State of Morelos. Some parts of Mexico City are chaotic with civil society organizing themselves to provide basic items such as food and water to affected populations and to act as search-and-rescue teams. Most of the aid is centralized in Mexico City, while efforts are underway in Puebla and Morelos. Hospitals are open and serving injured people. Health desks are also established in government shelters and open spaces, where affected families have camped temporarily. Government response is ongoing, with the Secretary of Defense and the Marines activated to lead the response. Mexico City is declared to be in an extraordinary state of emergency. The Rebsamen School, in the south of the city, collapsed, with 21 school children dead, 14 rescued and 30 still missing. Children separated from their families have been reported in shelters and hospitals.
Given high capacities of the Government in Mexico City, UNICEF’s efforts will concentrate in the south of Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos. This will be confirmed after rapid evaluation made by two teams deployed to the southern area of Mexico City.
UNICEF Mexico will prioritize response to immediate needs in WASH and child protection, and will be followed by education response in the next two weeks as data from the Protección Civil and the Ministry of Education becomes available.