We had to take care of them. An apartment building destroyed by an earthquake that struck Mexico City in 1985. Mexicans spooked by earthquake on anniversary of 1985 quake Mexico: Earthquake rocked Mexico City on Tuesday by a magnitude 7.1 quake which killed at least 100 people in the capital and 230 nationwide, 32 years to the day after another deadly temblor hit the city. You had one sentence. That quickly spread from earthquake-related things to environmentally related things, the fact that Mexico City was such a polluted city. It was very interesting, and Gavin was not without his role in all of that. On this day in 1985, a magnitude 8.0 earthquake rocked Mexico City and its surrounding environs at 9:17 a.m. EDT (7:17 a.m. local time). As the National Security Council’s Staff Director for Latin America from 1985 to 1986, Ambassador G. Philip Hughes was involved in planning First Lady Nancy Reagan’s visit to Mexico City, which he questioned as being ill-timed; he was interviewed by Kennedy beginning August 1997. First Lady Nancy Reagan toured Mexico City with U.S. So, it may be that people to people relations were actually improved…, Ambassador G. Philip Hughes Considerable damage and injuries were reported in other parts of the Umbria region. 2017 Puebla earthquake; Images for kids To this day I can’t remember a word I said. Then I went back to the airport at 3 a.m. to meet Ambassador Gavin. To this day, Embassy people remember that event and the talk I gave. One of the things that was most important were inflatable bladders for water. The building shook like hell. But then I began to see the destruction from the windows and we began to get reports that parts of the city had been seriously damaged, with many major buildings downed. The Marine guards of course were there. That second night I was in the Embassy until 1 or 2 in the morning. His Spanish was impeccable. Mexico certainly did not plan for earthquakes…. Problems were compounded because the Government disaster relief office was destroyed and several of the largest hospitals collapsed during the first day, including the Juarez General Hospital where I went with the Ambassador three days later while they were still rescuing survivors, although each hour the number of corpses rose and survivors dropped. The Embassy had a telephone network, in which everyone calls everyone else in a certain order. At around 7:19 a.m. on September 19, 1985, Mexico City, one of the world’s largest urban areas, was jolted by a magnitude 8.1 earthquake, one of the strongest to ever hit the area. These two guys heard screams and dove in to the flooded basement waters of the severely damaged hotel trying to save drowning hotel guests. But the greatest credit goes to the thousands of Mexicans that dug those first few days, saving hundreds of people. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Actually, that earthquake, and I think perhaps Gavin’s taking a very out-front role and really expressing the damage and so on, the follow up to that by the Mexican citizenry I think really led in some interesting and strange way to the ultimate defeat of the PRI several years later. As well, the tremors led to gas mains to break causing fires and explosions throughout Mexico City. Maybe that was because I had been through many earthquakes before, including one just as serious. Of course, the U.S. television networks were telling the U.S. about the situation, and as usual it was vastly overblown, probably unnecessarily scaring Americans with friends or relatives in Mexico City. Once there, the earthquake tremors caused the sediment layers to oscillate. He immediately jumped to the conclusion that those were buildings that were probably built not to the standards which were in print, but not always observed, of how buildings ought to be built in a seismic zone. Mexico City is located at an elevation of more than 7,300 feet above sea level. Within a few more hours I learned that this was probably going to happen so we turned to and set up the visit. Of course, the Mexicans refused to accept his figure. Most of these people interacted with Mexican lower level government officials and with the Mexican population. What was especially needed was machinery to cut through the concrete reinforcing rods, oxygen, the sniffer dogs to search for survivors, tents, heavy machinery to move some of the rubble, lighting systems, and communications gear. I think that on the second day shipments were already beginning to come in from the States. The oil boom was on. The Administrative Counselor, Doug Watson, a tremendous help and calming influence, came in at 9:00 a.m. and we had to decide what to do. Robert S. Pastorino As I noted above, the Navy Secretariat, which was in charge of disaster relief, was destroyed on the morning of the quake. Find a certified presentation designer for your next project on Prezi The Ambassador was to get on a plane that morning in Washington to go to Europe on his home leave. The Secret Service had great difficulty with the Mexican authorities maintaining any kind of crowd control around her. I think I went home at 4:00AM and came back at 6:00 AM. Major quake of 7 4 magnitude hits mexico so susceptible to earthquakes 1985 mexico city earthquake 2017 central mexico earthquake mexico earthquake kills hundreds Mexico Earthquake Strongest In A Century Kills Dozens The New York TimesHere S What We Know About Mexico Earthquake Abc News Australian Broadcasting CorporationMexico S Strongest Earthquake … Some people found it a difficult place to live then, and in certain aspects —  traffic, noise, congestion, smog — it was. Gavin, who is very compassionate about these things, really felt the tragedy. Five people were reported killed, many were injured, and extensive damage occurred in the vicinity of Norcia. Partly because of inadequate building codes, the … But early that morning, some lines were still open. On September 19, 1985, at 7:17 A.M., a Richter magnitude 8.1 earthquake occurred on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Heavy machinery, medical supplies, and excavation equipment descended into the city to help with rescue efforts. That took some doing because I couldn’t get through readily. At that time, all the lines went dead. People were all over the First Lady. So a lot of what we did in USIS, we would also sponsor seminars for journalists and so on. She is not going to be able to do anything material. In addition, 250,000 people lost their homes, and … Posted in Mexico City as a Minister Counselor for Public Affairs from 1985 to 1989, Ambassador Sally Grooms Cowal gives insight into some controversies surrounding Ambassador Gavin during her interview with Charles Stuart Kennedy beginning August 2001. Ultimately, most of the exchanges were badly damaged or destroyed. The foreign media would always cover these things, and then report it, and then sometimes the Mexican media would be able to report on what the foreign media had presented. That was my view. It was still peaceful. On September 19, 1985, at 7:18 in the morning, the residents of Mexico City were jolted awake by an 8.1-magnitude earthquake, one of the strongest to ever hit the area. We were trying to make them more professional, but they would editorialize right through that Gavin might have said there were 20,000 dead, but that couldn’t be the case because of whatever or whatever. It turned out I was in charge of the Embassy. This was an administrative decision and Nancy Reagan was going to take a million dollar check to Los Pinos [the Presidential palace]. The city has ...read more, From the stone cities of the Maya to the might of the Aztecs, from its conquest by Spain to its rise as a modern nation, Mexico boasts a rich history and cultural heritage spanning more than 10,000 years. Responses from the Mexican community and foreign governments came swiftly. They also strengthened one corner of the building. Making matters worse, on the evening of September 20, a magnitude 7.5 aftershock shook the region. To get a better idea about the high stakes treatment. “Here come the Americans to blow up our Mexican buildings.” Would it work? She was surrounded by this mob of people. On the morning of September 19, 1985, an 8.1-magnitude earthquake hit the western states of Mexico and including Mexico City. But then they reached the sandy loam of the lake bed underneath the center of Mexico City. Officials say at … He had a tendency shared by almost all politically appointed ambassadors, including [Patrick] Lucey at times, to sometimes speak out on Mexican affairs as if they were presidents of Mexico rather than ambassadors to the country. They were digging with their hands, or small shovels, but with no heavy equipment, by the light of automobile headlights. I asked them to please alert all of our families that we were okay, because phone communications from Mexico City would be problematic. Kramer, a. The airport runways were thought to be damaged on the first day. It was something she very much wanted to do. Western Mexico is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes with the Pacific plate and Cocos plate moving against the North American plate actively. Finally, after some trying, some genius in our Communications section patched me through to Washington through Louisiana, and Atlanta. As Mexico City is situated on an ancient lakebed plateau composed of mostly dirt and sand, the ground is less stable than bedrock, thus leading to major damage. It had a magnitudeof 8.1, and the number of people killed added up to 10,000 deaths. More than 10,000 people died as a result of the quake, some 30,000 others were injured and an estimated 250,000 people were left homeless. I said that the last thing in the world the Mexicans need is the First Lady coming to Mexico right now. They weren’t evidently hostile but something could have happened to her in such a large crowd. We weren’t even sure they would be able to be sent the first couple of days. The earthquake resulted in around $3 billion to $4 billion in damage. This is a city and urban area of 20 million people in the valley, of which seven or eight million people were directly affected by the loss of services; the loss of electricity, water, sewage facilities, all of which began to cause disease problems. He was a cousin of one of the leading writers of Mexico, Carlos Fuentes, who he called Charlie Fountain. He landed and said to the press that he thought there might be more than 20,000 deaths. We all flew to Mexico in this nearly empty plane spending a lot of hours in the air. However, much of the damage was in Mexico City, which was constructed on an ancient lake bed whose soft sediments amplify seismic waves. It was the worst earthquake to hit Taiwan–where quakes are common due to its location in a seismically active ...read more, At 4:31 a.m. on January 17, 1994, a 6.7-magnitude quake struck the San Fernando Valley, a densely populated area of Los Angeles located 20 miles northwest of the city’s downtown. Interested in Recording Your Oral History, Association for Diplomatic Studies & Training. I went onto the roof and I could see buildings collapsed within two or three blocks. The quake was centered off the Pacific coast of Michoacán, more than 200 miles west of Mexico City, the nation’s capital. and when it stopped I decided to leave the building, have a cup of coffee for twenty minutes, and then go back to work. NARRATOR: When the earthquake occurred in 1985 the initial waves did in fact weaken as they approached the center of the country. As Mexico City is situated on an ancient lakebed plateau … The death toll, a number which is disputed, is most often cited to be 10,000 people, but many agree that the number could be as high as 40,000. Nonetheless, I mean, it came across to the Mexican people that he was someone who was not their friend. Quakes, most of them minor, and none as strong as the one in 1985, remained a constant feature of life in Mexico City. It was appropriate to speak publicly about issues relating to our interests, but dangerous to tell Mexicans how to manage their own affairs, at least in public. The Mexican government, thinking that it could handle the situation after the earthquake by themselves, initially refused any foreign aid. We hurried through the calling because we knew the phone system in Mexico City was progressively failing as the central exchanges were literally falling down. 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