Woman among thousands that lost home in Mexico earthquake

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Mexico earthquake

For 35 years, an old house near the downtown area has been Alma Torres’ home. It was a family heirloom, handed down through the generations. Now much of it is a pile of broken bricks and dust.

The night of the earthquake, September 7, she was taking a shower. Then, she heard a loud noise and the ceiling began to cave-in. A large wooden beam fell from above, just missing her head and struck her arm.

CGTN’s Franc Contreras reports from Juchitán, Mexico.

Alma Torres

Alma Torres
Photo/Franc Contreras

CGTN asked her what this house meant to her family. “It meant alot because this is where we passed the majority of our time together. It was where we would receive visitors,” she said.

Along with homes, many other properties in Juchitán, located in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, are damaged beyond repair.

The massive earthquake also destroyed hundreds of businesses. Up until Thursday, this was one of the town’s most important department stores. Now it is left in rubble.

Back in what was her living room, Alma Torres finds a personal item among the ruins.
Other things that were saved include this special photograph of her father, and a small statue of the baby Jesus, which has been in her family for 60 years.

“We will continue to live here, but it will be with fear and sometimes panic, that a piece of the roof could fall on us,” Torres said.

Torres says things will never be the same again for her and her family. But they will try to return to life as it was before the earthquake struck.  

Mexican officials say more than 60 people were killed in the massive 8.1 magnitude earthquake that struck off the country’s southern coast on Thursday. Most of the deaths occurred in the town of Juchitan in the state of Oaxaca. Professor Kevin Furlong of Penn State University joins CGTN’s Susan Roberts to discuss if this magnitude quake could happen again anytime soon.