As mentioned in yesterday’s article, an elementary school had collapsed as a result of the mag. 7.1 quake just south of Mexico City. It is hard for me to report on casualties related to any disaster, but when it comes to children, my emotions become a bit overwhelming. As many of you know, I have two young children, Alexa age 9 and Sophia age 5. Among my activities, I volunteer as a WatchDog at their elementary school (which I encourage every father to participate), giving me a great opportunity to enter-act with these bright beautiful children.
You might have guessed where I have been over the last several days last week… Yes, I got the call to venture off to Georgia dealing with that nasty Irma. Just got a call to head to Mexico, but this time my answer was ‘no’. We all have our limits and or, Achilles heel, mine is children. Perhaps I’m reacting to my own PTSD, or perhaps I’m just getting a bit older, or I just love my kids so much I would rather stay home with them and my wife being damn grateful we are all safe…for this time around.
As an aside, the Mexico City Emergency Management Team is well qualified, and it just so happened they were just completing ‘active scenario training’ at the time of this 7.1 quake.
More than 300 children were studying in their classrooms at Enrique Rébsamen primary school, in Mexico City’s southern Coapa district when the earth started violently shaking.
In an instant, concrete walls and ceilings in parts of the school came crashing down, crushing students as young as first-graders. Neighbors, relatives of the children and even a passing taxi driver rushed toward the giant plume of dust, prying away debris with their bare hands, desperately searching for any sign of life Tuesday afternoon. They worked through the night.
By Wednesday morning, rescuers had carried out at least 25 bodies, twenty-one of them were students with names like Daniela, Diana and Oscar. They were all believed to be 7 or 8 years old and were still dressed in their white and black school uniforms.
Those killed at the school were among at least 230 people who perished across five states in Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake. Dozens of buildings collapsed across central Mexico, including large office buildings and apartment towers in Mexico City.
Details of the girl located on Wednesday have not been given. Rescuers detected her after she moved her hand and a hose was lowered to supply her with water.
Civil Protection volunteer Enrique Gardia told the assembled crowd that a thermal scanner had detected several survivors trapped between slabs of concrete.
“They are alive! Alive!” he shouted. “Someone hit a wall several times in one place, and in another there was a response to light signals with a lamp,” he added.
One mother, standing nearby waiting for news of her seven-year-old daughter, told reporters: “No-one can possibly imagine the pain I’m in right now.”
At least 209 schools were affected by the quake, 15 of which have suffered severe damage.
NOTE:I am sending money and supplies to some connections I have made in Mexico. If you can help in making those who have been directly affected, go to the bottom of this article and click on the donation banner.
Popocatépetl Volcano Activity
The National Center for Disaster Prevention reported that, so far, there has not been an increase in the activity of the Popocatépetl volcano and remains at Alert Level ‘Advisory’ and Aviation code ‘Orange’. The most recent report indicated the monitoring systems identified 256 low intensity exhalations, one explosion, as well as 15 volcano-tectonic earthquakes with magnitudes between 1.5 and 2.5.
During the night, no incandescence was noticed on the crater and since the morning of this Wednesday the volcano has been observed with a weak emission of water vapor and gas.
From dawn and up to the time of this report the volcano has been seen with a weak emission of steam and gas. NCDP emphasizes that people ‘Should Not’ go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments.
The scenarios foreseen for this phase are:
Explosive activity of low to intermediate level – Ash fall in nearby towns – Possibility of short range pyroclastic flows and mudflows.
Special emphasis is placed on the following recommendations:
Continue the safety radius of 12 km, so staying in that area is not allowed – Keep the controlled traffic between Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa through Paso de Cortés – Civil Protection authorities, keep your preventive procedures, in accordance with their operational plans – People, be alert to the official information disseminated.
In case of ashfall, address the following recommendations:
Cover nose and mouth with a wet handkerchief or face mask – Clean eyes and throat with pure water – Avoid contact lenses to reduce eye irritation – Close windows or cover them up, and stay indoors as much as possible.
Popocatepetl Volcano monitoring is performed continuously 24 hours a day. Any change in activity will be reported in due course.
Bali’s Mt. Agung Volcano Threatens to Erupt
A marked increase in the number of earthquakes happening below Mount Agung volcano in eastern Bali, Indonesia, over the past few weeks has authorities keeping a close watch on the situation. Stopping just short of calling for evacuations, the latest alert issued by the national and local government agencies now forbids climbing of the mountain and orders evacuations within 7.5 km of the summit.
Although infrequent, eruptions of Mt Agung have been among the largest of the past 100 years of global volcanic activity. More than 1,000 people died during the last eruption in 1963.
Our ability to predict eruptions has improved dramatically since this last event, so we can hope such a death toll will not occur again.
Mt. Agung is one of many similar volcanoes in Indonesia and the Ring of Fire surrounding the Pacific and eastern Indian oceans. But during its sporadic eruptions, Agung has been one of the most prominent injectors of volcanic ash and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.
This type of activity can have effects that are more widely felt than by just the population of Bali.
Earthquakes on the Rise Near Yellowstone Supervolcano
Recent data from the University of Utah shows the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park has seen a spike in earthquakes. Miles underneath the park sits one of the world’s largest volcanoes, known as the Yellowstone super volcano.
According to FOX31’s sister station, there have been 1,200 earthquakes in the park since the beginning of June. Jamie Farrell, Research Professor of Seismology at the University of Utah, says this is a large swarm, but adds the activity is otherwise pretty normal for the volcanic area.
“We get a lot of calls as to whether people should cancel plans to go to Yellowstone and the answer is decisively no,” he said. “This is how volcanoes act, and it’s pretty normal.”
Researchers say that there are typically between 1,500 and 2,000 earthquakes a year in Yellowstone.