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Natural Disasters Hit Mexico, Southeastern United States, and the Caribbean

By Samantha Latos; Assist. News Editor
On September 29, 2017

Natural Disasters Hit Mexico, Southeastern United States, and the Caribbean

Samantha Latos

For The Clock 


On Tuesday, September 19th, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico for aproximately twenty seconds. The earthquake occurred southwest of Puebla, and southeast of Mexico City at a depth of 51 kilometers. As of September 24th, the death toll reached 305. This is the deadliest earthquake Mexico has seen since 1985, which killed roughly 5 thousand people. Oddly enough, both earthquakes happened on September 19th. Earlier this month, on September 7th, there was an 8.1 magnitude earthquake, that killed over 100 people in Chiapas and Oaxaca, 168 miles from Puebla. President Enrique Peña Nieto said it was the strongest quake in the country in 100 years. In the past couple of days, Mexico has endured two aftershock earthquakes. One, a 5.7 magnitude that was off the coast, resulting in no damage to property; the other, a 6.2, which was very large but did not destroy nearly as much as it could have. Around 20 thousand people across Mexico are now homeless,thousands with signifi cant injuries. Mexico needs as much help as we can possibly give.

There are many charities providing aid to Mexico. Two of the most successful charities are Project Paz and Global Giving. Project Paz is a non-profit that helps with disaster relief, for both earthquakes. Global Giving provides food, water, and medical services for those affected by the recent earthquake. People can also use ICF, which concerns the restoration of buildings that collapsed. UNICEF and Save The Children Mexico both go toward finding, and comforting missing children, and reuniting them with their families.

Earthquakes are not the only natural disaster to hit the region in the last month. Over the last few weeks, hurricanes and tropical storms have devastated the region. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have hit the southeast United States hard, creating billions in damage to Texas and Florida, respectively. But the United States were not the only ones to be hurt by the hurricanes. Islands in the Caribbean were devastated, including the small island of Barbuda and the US Virgin Islands. It is estimated that 95% of property on Barbuda weas either damaged or destroyed.

Even after so much damage was done to islands, even more was to come. Hurricane Jose hit the already bombarded island of Barbuda. And Hurricane Maria was to hit the relatively untouched island of Puerto Rico. Until then, Puerto Rico was out of the direct line of the major hurricanes. Unfortunately, Hurricane Maria changed that.

Hurricane Maria was the thirteenth named storm, seventh hurricane, fourth major hurricane, and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. No one knows for sure why this hurricane season is so active. This was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in almost 90 years. When it first hit the island, all 3.4 million people lost power completely. Nearly 1.5 million people are still without power, as of September 22nd. Originating from a tropical wave that the National Hurricane Center began monitoring on September 13th, Maria developed into a tropical storm on September 16th. So far, Hurricane Maria’s death toll is 27. In addition to the “apocalyptic” amount of damage done to the island, as well as the power outages and cell towers being down inhibiting communication, the Guajataca Dam is in critical condition. It is estimated that 70,000 people are in danger should the dam fail.

American singer Marc Anthony has announced the creation of SOMOS UNA VOZ, We Are One Voice, a humanitarian relief initiative that brings together celebrities from sports and entertainment to help Maria-devastated Puerto Rico. On September 28, during the Thursday night football game, the NFL will include in-game messages, inviting fans across the country to join in a huddle for relief for those who have been affected by Hurricane Maria. The NFL will encourage fans to text MARIA to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross Hurricane Relief. More charity options include Global Giving, and Storm of Support, which provides food and various supplies.

Hopefully, there will be no more devastating natural disasters for the time being. Everyone is encouraged to research, and stay educated on the status of these and other disasters. Donating to these charities can save lives, and we hope that enough people take that into consideration so that these places can start rebuilding and healing as soon as possible. 

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