Mexico rocked by strong earthquake

Some 30 people are reported to have died and several hundred were injured in an earthquake which struck Mexico yesterday evening at 18.00 local time. The earthquake measured 7.3 on the Richter Scale in the worst-affected states of Colima and Jalisco.
Puebla, Tlaxcala and Mexico city also felt the huge tremor. Experts report that the epicentre was located off the coast of the Pacific state of Colima, some 300 miles west of Mexico City. The tremor lasted almost one minute spreading panic and fear among the population.Many people spent the night in the streets fearing aftershocks.

The Mexican Red Cross immediately mobilised its branches and volunteers, as well as relief goods. Red Cross personnel and volunteers are participating in the rescue and relief work in close co-ordination with Civil Defense and the local authorities. Mexican Red Cross volunteers are also providing first aid to those injured.

Red Cross volunteers in Colima are reporting that many houses have collapsed and many buildings have been destroyed. Red Cross volunteer Marta Requena said that electricity had been cut off and there was a shortage of medicines.

"This is the strongest earthquake in terms of magnitude to hit Mexico in the last ten years," said Santiago Gil, head of the International Federation's Americas Department.

"Red Cross contingency plans have been activated in the region and we are monitoring the situation, in case there is an additional need to support the Mexican Red Cross in its activities," he added.

The International Federation regional delegation and the Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) based in Panama are undertaking operational preparations and arrangements to respond if needed.

"A lot of people have remembered the 1985 earthquake when we suffered a tremendous earthquake (8.0 magnitude) that killed around 10,000 people, injured hundreds of thousands and left a similar number of people homeless", said a Red Cross