Aid arrives for Mexico’s earthquake victims

World Today

Women sort through a delivery of clothing donated by residents of the nearby town of Matias Romero, which also suffered some damage in Thursday’s magnitude 8.1 earthquake, in an area heavily affected by the quake in Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Help is finally arriving for some survivors of the worst earthquake to hit Mexico in over a century. Private citizens brought food from a neighboring state, enough to feed hundreds.

Many are resting here at the Technological Institute of the Isthmus. It’s become temporary shelter for families left homeless following Thursday’s massive earthquake.

Dozens of families have come here with their children and even some pets because this is a safe place that provides them with shelter but also food, water and other services.

The night of the earthquake, Jocelin Gomez and her family were asleep. Her five-week old baby, Jose Daniel, was at her side as their home came tumbling down.

When the ground stopped shaking, they returned to their broken home and found their puppy, Pinky, covered in dust. He was hit by a falling ceramic roof tile.

Torres says they’re glad to be alive, but they’re just now coming to grips with the fact they are homeless.

“We’re not very comfortable, but we are fine. It’s better than having to stay in the street, because many people are living in the street outside their homes. It’s difficult,” she says,

The Mexican government sent mobile health units to the most affect areas. They’re staffed with doctors, nurses and psychologists.

Mexico’s National Social Security Coordinator, Fringe Azuara is here directing this free service to survivors.

“From the day after the earthquake, the most common ailment we have been attending to is nervous breakdowns,” she said. “Obviously, many people were very nervous, some in panic and they were very afraid. Our healthcare workers came to help them feel calm and attend to them.”

It’s nearly impossible to calculate the full cost of this disaster, which destroyed thousands of homes and businesses, and even a few colonial era structures.

The sound of children playing provides a bit of comfort, and a sign that life here is slowly returning to normal.