Erin Taylor 267.250.8829 (M)
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (September 20, 2017) —
Save the Children holds grave concerns for up to
100 school children believed to have been inside a school building in downtown
Mexico City when it collapsed after a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck
on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s one of two schools reported to have collapsed in the
quake, which killed more than 200 people and cracked roads, causing dozens of
buildings to collapse. Early indications are that thousands of families have
lost their homes and are currently in shelters.
Save the Children Mexico’s Programs Coordinator
Hanna Monsivais said she has been out on the streets with hundreds of other
people offering support and assistance to their neighbors.
“People have shown enormous solidarity. Volunteers
are bringing water, food, clothes, and face masks, so that they can help the
official authorities move all the debris and rocks, because there are still
people trapped under buildings,” she said.
“Every once in a while authorities ask for silence
so they can hear the people who are still trapped. It’s amazing what people are
doing for others – but some people are clearly still in complete shock.”
Monsivais said entire blocks have been cordoned off
and many buildings are too dangerous to enter due to damage. Power is still not
back on in many areas and communications are limited.
“This night is going to be tough. For sure,
tomorrow the death toll will rise.”
Director of Operations at Save the Children in
Mexico, Jorge Vidal, said the earthquake shook the office building he was
working in at the time.
“Books fell off the shelves, windows shattered and
we immediately lost power. All of our staff are safe and accounted for but our
thoughts and hearts go out to the thousands of families likely impacted by this
horrible disaster,” he said.
“Children are often the most vulnerable in
emergencies such as this and we are particularly concerned because schools
across the region were in session and filled with students,” he added.
The Government of Mexico is responding to the
emergency and Save the Children teams are still assessing the needs of those
Save the Children has been operating in Mexico
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