Prepared For The Big One

Earthquakes have kinda been in the news lately. First Haiti and then a couple of weeks ago a massive quake hitting Chile. It’s something that any country, any city, that lies on a fault line can be hit with. Mexico City has seen it’s fair share. In the last hundred years, southern and central Mexico have been rocked by a total of 13 quakes measuring 7 or more on the Richter scale. Of those 2 were massive 8+ quakes, including the catastophic 1985 event which flattened parts of Mexico City and killed thousands.

Since that earthquake, building codes have been tightened somewhat, and smaller tremors, even ones as strong as the 2003 7.6, cause little or no damage and few deaths. But the big one will come, eventually. Although, as I understand things from a documentary a while back, the longer since the last big one, the longer it will be till the next big one. Residents of Mexico City still appreciate the occasional 5.5 to 6.5 quake though…frequent small releases of energy being preferred to rare but large releases.

But how well prepared is Mexico City in general? Well there was a report I read regards the Chile quake which detailed the problems that emergency services had in reaching urban areas that had suffered bad damage. Where the roads weren’t destroyed, huge billboards had come down, blocking the way. Mexico City is full of huge billboards, towering into the sky. I’m told the south part of the city (that’ll be my part) has many more of them than the north. No need to advertise expensive products to people with no money, apparently. There’s dozens of them along the Periferico orbital. They are incredibly ugly. And apparently they are killers in waiting too. Was there ever a better reason to have them all taken down? Except for the ones with pretty ladies showing off lingerie, thank you…

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  • I love the blank billboards with “annunciate” on them. Always reminds me of a 1950’s movie where a woman rents an available billboard, plasters her name across it, and soon becomes rich and famous. Wish I could remember the title.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Where we have few billboards and even fewer quakes.

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