Friday, December 9, 2022

Michoacán and Colima most affected by Monday’s earthquake; thousands of buildings damaged

Michoacán and Colima bore the brunt of Monday’s powerful earthquake, with thousands of homes damaged in each Pacific coast state.

The epicenter of the 7.7 magnitude quake was near the Pacific coast in a part of Michoacán just south of the border with Colima.

More than 3,000 homes in Michoacán and over 2,000 in Colima were damaged, according to authorities. Other buildings, including schools, hospitals and churches, also sustained damage, as did some highways and bridges.

The worst affected municipality in Michoacán was Coahuayana, where over 1,100 homes were damaged and almost 400 completely collapsed. Governor Alfredo Ramírez Bedolla visited the municipality on Tuesday.

collapsed home from 7.7 earthquake 2022 in Michoacan
A collapsed home in Michoacán is a testament to the effects of Monday’s 7.7 earthquake in the state, which saw over 3,000 homes damaged.

“In Coahuayana, we toured the municipal seat and surrounding areas affected by the earthquake, where we reiterated to residents our fraternal support to repair the damage and attend to their needs,” he wrote on Twitter.

Michoacán authorities approved an emergency declaration for that municipality as well as Coalcomán, Chinicuila and Aquila, all of which are on or near the Pacific coast and close to the border with Colima. The declaration will unlock government resources for repair and reconstruction efforts.

The quake didn’t claim any lives in Michoacán, but numerous injuries – mainly caused by falling objects – were reported.

Ramírez said that 26 people required medical treatment in Coahuayana, but only one person remains hospitalized after suffering injuries caused by a gas tank explosion.

Earthquake damage in Manzanillo, Colima September 19, 2022
In Manzanillo, Colima, Monday’s quake took part of the facade of a Coppel department store, pieces of which hit a woman who was killed.

“Michoacán is strong, united and standing,” the governor declared Tuesday, adding that land travel is possible throughout the state and that “all the affected areas are connected.”

In Colima, Governor Indira Vizcaíno said that some homes suffered only minor earthquake damage while others were rendered inhabitable by the powerful quake, the third to hit Mexico on September 19 in the past 37 years.

Vizcaíno toured the municipality of Tecomán on Tuesday to inspect damage and meet with victims. The municipal palace was among the buildings that sustained damage in Tecomán, which borders the Pacific Ocean and Michoacán.

“To Colima residents I say: you are not alone. The commitment we have to help from our trench is real, and we will continue working … for you,” she said in one Twitter post.

Monday’s earthquake was felt in several states and in Mexico City but only claimed two lives. Both fatalities occurred in Manzanillo, Colima, where a man died after the roof of a gym collapsed on top of him and a woman was killed when she was hit by a section of a Coppel department store facade that detached during the quake.

The woman, Sonia Sánchez, 61, was laid to rest on Tuesday. Her widower, fisherman Luis Manuel Gómez, said that their home was severely damaged and that he hoped to receive financial support from the state and federal governments to carry out repairs and pay for other expenses.

In addition to the two fatalities, close to 20 people in Colima sustained quake-related injuries.

Meanwhile, aftershocks of Monday’s powerful temblor continue to occur. Mexico’s National Seismological Service said on Twitter there had been 1,049 aftershocks as of 12 p.m. Wednesday, the largest of which was a 5.8 magnitude quake with an epicenter 72 kilometers south of Tecomán just after 3:15 a.m. Tuesday.

With reports from Excélsior and Infobae 

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