By Shannon Scandiffio, Matthew Emmanuel and Wylan Mancogna
OCT 17, 2017
On September 19, 2017, at about 1pm, Central Time Zone, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit less than three miles northeast of San Juan Raboso, which is 108 miles from Mexico City. According to TheGuardian.com, this was the deadliest earthquake to hit central Mexico since 1985. The tremors did not stop there. On October 4, 2017, at 7:06 p.m. Central Time Zone, initial readings from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) detected a 4.5-magnitude earthquake that shook Oaxaca, Mexico (464 miles from Mexico City) at a depth of 8.9 kilometers. According to Jason Hanna of CNN, this earthquake set off sirens interrupting the cleanup of buildings that had already collapsed from the previous earthquake. Both of these catastrophes turned buildings into dust, and there were more than 300 reported deaths.
Mexico has the second largest, and most densely populated, city in the world. According to the The World Population Review, Mexico City contains roughly about 8.10 million people. Taking into account the surrounding metropolitan area, the population expands to approximately 21 million people. The effects of a catastrophic earthquake with that many people could lead to major issues with not only the foundational structure of the buildings but also the number of injuries.
Luis Felipe Puente, Mexico’s Civil Protection Coordinator, said search and rescue efforts could take up to two weeks. He also pointed out that, “This one hit late Thursday, when many people were asleep. The states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, home to about nine million people, are located closest to the earthquake’s epicenter. They are two of the most impoverished areas in Mexico and were likely hit the hardest”. To help with the search and rescue missions, Howie Choset’s research group at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, designed two robotic snakes that are about two inches thick and almost a meter long. Each snake has 16 joints that enable them to move easily through tight spaces.Attached to their heads are lights and cameras, which allow rescuers to see if there are any survivors. With these new and innovative technologies, people hope for the best outcome during the rebuilding period from this earthquake. The Raider Community sends their thoughts and prayers to those who were lost in this tragedy as well as the ones who survived. May they find peace and hope during these difficult times.