Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

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Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby freezeblade » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:02 pm UTC

Big earthquake hit off the coast of southern Mexico, near Mexico city.

Any forumites there I hope are safe and unharmed. ... index.html
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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby Zohar » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:10 pm UTC

A friend of mine lives there. Sounds pretty scary, but at least him and his husband are OK.
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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby Liri » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:19 pm UTC

Natural disasters are having a time of it this summer. Well-wishes to all.
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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:34 pm UTC

Just imagine if an earthquake happened in the middle of a hurricane. That'd be just bad luck, but the buildings hit by two different types of destruction with no ability to rescue survivors, with people trapped under debris while the water slowly rises and I just made myself sad.

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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby sardia » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:46 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Just imagine if an earthquake happened in the middle of a hurricane. That'd be just bad luck, but the buildings hit by two different types of destruction with no ability to rescue survivors, with people trapped under debris while the water slowly rises and I just made myself sad.

You mean the good news is the earthquake happened in the middle of a hurricane. The bad news will be the victims will turn on the ones the disasters spared as resources grow short, and countries weaken from crop failures and drought.

You're just extrapolating from the geopolitical risks of climate change.

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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby danix » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:33 am UTC

Oh hai there.

I'm from Mexico City. Didn't log in here because I had some more pressing issues for the last couple of weeks. I gotta say, we've got an awesome Early Earthquake Warning System which does work as advertised ... when the earthquakes are originating in the subduction zone. It basically operates on the same theory the xkcd comic on seismic waves and Twitter does.

This one didn't. The epicenter was 120 km from the city. By the time SASMEX sent the alert, the p-wave had hit and we were starting to feel the stronger s-waves. I work from home, so I was in my apartment at a 3rd floor when the quake hit. We weren't able to reach the stairs before the shaking turned violent. Halfway through the quake, we heard a really strong sound, something like the Niagara Falls just started pouring somwhere below. We later found out this was actually an LPG stationary tank falling which meant that the almost-full LPG tank was emptying itself into the air. Dangerous stuff! Fortunately, we were able to evacuate as soon as the earth stopped shaking. Our building had been built to withstand 8.5+ earthquakes, it passed its first real test with flying colors.

Unfortunately, this wasn't like previous earthquakes, not even like the 8.2 one that hit us on September 7 (where the SASMEX alert actually gave us 120 seconds lead time). I had to run across the street to call 911, as all cellphones were dead. I saw a firetruck speed into our avenue but went to another direction. That's a really bad sign after a quake. It most likely means something has definitely collapsed. The next hint we had that something was very wrong was that my 911 call did state that emergency services were being sent, but they didn't immediately show up, even though there's a Fire Dept 6 blocks from our location.

Then the news started coming in through our spotty mobile data reception. Power was out, so WiFi networks were gone. But we started getting bad news. Something has collapsed. Someone sent a picture from outside his office in a skyscraper, and you can see gray clouds consistent with downed building debris. Someone else comes over here running and tells us that a building 15 blocks from us has collapsed.

The nightmare has just started. And as luck would have it, this earthquake hit us on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 quake which left 10,000 people dead.

Anyone remember the War of the Worlds (book) description of masses of people walking around due to lack of transportation? Well, that happened. Some people went on 5 to 10 km walks towards their homes, and some of them arrived only to find out that they're now homeless. They're debatebly lucky; some office workers at certain buildings are now trapped in the rubble of their former workplaces, or dead.

We spent most of the rest of that day with spotty information. I learned that some of the interconnecting bridges between certain buildings in my former University campus collapsed, 1 confirmed dead and 40 injured. (Final count ended up being 5 dead, 40 injured.) We ended up walking 2 kilometers to the nearest subway station (which was made free due to the emergency) and took a ride to my stepdaughter's apartment. Fortunately, she had power, gas, and running water (we had none of this at our apartment.) This is where I was finally able to reach out to most of my family and friends, save one of them. He was able to check in the next day. Had to spend 4 days over there, as utilities took quite some time to get restored.

On the very next day, we went back to my apt to get some stuff. I grabbed my motorcycle and joined the many volunteer brigades that were moving stuff and verifying information on the different rescue sites. My Twitter feed became a 24/7 vetting and information distribution point for the rescue efforts. I spent little time sleeping. Everyone who can help, is helping with whatever skills they can.

I was mostly active for many days until this Monday. That's when I verified some information and had to inform my friends who were asking for information on two young adults that they had been finally extracted from the rubble of the building ... as bodies. They're dead. I've attended the 5 dead student's rememberance earlier and this just blew away my remaining strength. I started crying and just unplugged myself from all social media. By the next day, most people that can/could be rescued have been saved. Things are turning fast into a "recovery" effort. By then, an actual team of IT folks and other experts have set up a Twitter account where they're vetting information and publishing it. I'm no longer needed as much as I was in earlier days. Thus I ended my volunteer work.

Now I'm suffering PTSD. I'm pretty sure half the city is suffering PTSD as well. I'm not sure when I'll recover from this. :(

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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby Zamfir » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:41 am UTC

That's serious... I can only wish you the best of luck

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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby Angua » Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:03 am UTC

That sounds truly horrifying. I hope you get some time to start looking after yourself as well as everyone else.
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Re: Earthquake in Mexico: 09/19/17

Postby ObsessoMom » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:01 am UTC

Thanks for letting us know, danix. Sending healing thoughts your way as you regroup.

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