On Thursday, September 7th, a massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the foundation of southern Mexico; and then the aftershocks came to cause even more destruction.
The quake was the worst the area has experienced in more than a century.
In the city of Juchitan alone, almost a third of the homes have been declared completely uninhabitable, forcing massive amounts of the population to find places to live outdoors.
Thousands of buildings, including homes, schools, hospitals, and churches have either partially or completely collapsed.
The initial quake had a big role in the destruction, but the nearly 800 aftershocks were what caused people to abandon seeking shelter inside any kind of buildings for fear of more collapses.
The U.S. Geological Survey tallied 60 aftershocks that were measured at a 4.5 magnitude or greater.
The scale of the destruction was made worse by the fact that the epicenter was closest to two of the most impoverished states in Mexico: Chiapas and Oaxaca.
With over 9 million people inhabiting the area, the lack of sound infrastructure and access to clean water has made the already devastating disaster that much worse.
Many people who were looking to find any kind of consolation whatsoever, found themselves at open-air Masses that were being held on the following Sunday by the numerous churches that were either destroyed, or yet to be cleared as safe for inhabitants.
Bishop Oscar Campos Contreras performed a Mass for around 200 people on a basketball court in front of the St. Vicente Ferrer church.
“There is no one who can say: ‘Nothing happened to me because of my money, because of my strength or my youth or my prestige or my fame nothing happened,'” Campos said. “We are all weak.”
With the death toll now nearing 90, significant help in the area is desperately needed. But with Texas still reeling from the damage of hurricane Harvey, and now with hurricane Irma rampaging through southern Florida, this disaster has gone unnoticed by many.
But with the help of Greatergood.org and partners in rural Chiapas, hopefully the assistance that is required will find its way to the people of southern Mexico.
To help start making a difference for the people of Chiapas and Oaxaca, check out the link below to see what you can do.
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