This is a year of anniversaries. Two hundred years of Independence. A hundred years since the revolution. Twenty five years since the huge earthquake that devastated Mexico City in 1985. At precisely 7.19 in the morning. The time this post was published. I’ve set this post to publish at that time.
I often write posts in advance and set them to publish later. It has occurred to me that one day I’ll do this, and find that between scheduling and publishing, Mexico City will disappear in ‘the big one’. Crosses fingers…
So far my experience of earthquakes has been….mild excitement? Even a bit fun? The strongest I’ve sat through is a 6.3 on the Richter scale a couple of years ago. Many times less powerful than the 8.1 that struck in 1985. But still powerful enough to have flattened cities and killed tens of thousands in one foul sweep elsewhere in the world.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Mexico is hit by so many earthquakes that anything not built to withstand a good shaking is removed from the scene pretty quickly.
There’s a big one of 7 plus every decade on average. Which, with my total time in the country being nearly 6 years by the time I leave, gives me better than a 50/50 chance of experiencing one. Not so far, but there’s a few months left for one to strike! I prefer the little ones I think though. Although I have to say, you do wonder how what seems like such a mild shaking can have such disastrous consequences. Well, you wonder how afterwards, with hindsight.
There’s a simple rule with earthquakes. Get out of the building. If you hear bricks or masonry crack, then get out of the building quickly. During the 6.3, I grabbed a red bucket and tossed my turtles in it and left the building with my little green shelled friends in tow.
It only took me about twenty seconds. I watched a video of the earthquake in Haiti earlier in the year. From the start of the shaking to the sound of collapsing buildings….about 20 seconds. Next time the turts will have to fend for themselves. Every second counts.
The video below tells the story of the 1985 quake. It contains a few grisly scenes, so if dead bodies isn’t your thing, don’t press play. There’s also a six part documentary, part one of which is here. You can find the following parts through that video. Documentales Mexico has plenty of really cool, non earthquake videos that are also well worth watching.