The Big One

Earthquakes are part and parcel of Mexico City’s past, present and future. Some parts of the world wait for ‘the big one’. CDMX simply waits for another big one. The wait is never long. We did not have to worry much about relatives. The first we heard of the quake was just a couple of minutes after the event when Mrs P’s dad called to say he was ok. We had no reason till then to think he might not be. The remaining friends and family members soon checked in with Mrs P. I made my own call to check on my nearest and dearest. Be rest assured, the remaining three turtles are all fine.

Mrs P and I lived in the south of the city, where there is more solid rock to build on, rather than sandy lake bed. Earthquakes don’t tend to be so damaging there. That’s one reason why there is piped gas. Alas, this time, the south did not escape the wrath of Mother Nature. The Soriana supermarket that I would frequent most weeks was flattened. And the school that claimed so many young lives was not far from home. Life is fragile at the best of times.

I still miss Mexico City. I’d still love to be there. But this is one of several reasons why we’re best of where we are. Where would we be if our house were destroyed in a quake? How would I pay my bills with so many classes cancelled, as would have happened this week? There’s so much more life in Mexico City than there is here. It’s just so easy to live it.


11 thoughts on “The Big One

  1. Glad to hear that your relatives are all right. Fortunately my friends in CDMX are all OK too, but the city is not. There are a number of buildings which are on the point of imminent collapse, and numerous streets which are still closed.. There are still a few parts of the city without electricity. There has been great solidarity among the residents, but my friend says that they are all still in a daze and a state of fear. I will return in late October, and it will be strange and sad to see the post-earthquake city. The condo building where I have been renting survived the quake undamaged… it is in Napoles near the World Trade Center, and is built on bedrock. But Condesa, where I used to stay, was devastated.


    • There are still quite a few properties lying in ruin from the 1985 earthquake. I’ve been told that when owners couldn’t be traced, they just kinda got left as they were. It will be strange though. My part (or former part) of the city is also mostly built on bedrock and normally gets through relatively unscathed. But not this time.

      I won’t get to visit next year in all likelihood. But hopefully the year after. Quakes or no quakes, it’s still my favourite place to be.


      • I’ve heard that some of those derelict buildings from the 85 quake are now, after this quake, in danger of imminent collapse.
        Just got a call from the owner of the apartment where I stay. The building is undamaged, and the maid has been inside and there were only a couple items which fell and broke.


        • I got photos from Mrs P’s family. Furniture overturned and stuff all over the place. I was a little worried for one old friend. He works in an office near Ninos Heroes in a building that used to sway pretty dramatically if a lorry went past. But I needn’t have been concerned. It survived 57 and 85. It can add 17 to its list of honours.


  2. I have seen most of the pictures and videos. Living in Mexico, not Mexico City, there is no way that one can avoid the tragic results. Of course Mexico City has to rebuild and continue. But Mexico City is not Mexico. The others parts of Mexico have pretty much been ignored when it comes to getting federal help. I am talking about the poor villages away from Mexico City where the feds have pulled away to take care of the needs of the big city. Poor people have learned from the past quakes not on the government to respond meaningfully to the poorer areas. The good thing is that they have learned to depend upon themselves and not wait on Mexico City for much help. Viva Mexico!


  3. Reblogged this on Bloggers Without Borders and commented:

    Can’t go home again. Gary lived in Mexico City for many years. He did not want to leave it but circumstances dictated he go back home to Britain. He often thinks about his other home in Mexico and years to return some time in the future. I hope that he makes it back under better circumstances.


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