Mexico City Earthquake: September 19, 1985
More than 10,000 people died as a result of the quake, some 30,000 others were injured and an estimated 250,000 people were left homeless. More than 400 buildings collapsed and thousands more were damaged. (The disaster exposed the fact that government corruption had allowed for lax enforcement of building codes.) Making matters worse, on the evening of September 20, a magnitude 7.5 aftershock shook the region.
1985 Mexico City Earthquake: Slow Government Response
Mexico’s president, Miguel de la Madrid (1934-2012), was criticized for his government’s weak response to the disaster. At first, the president rejected offers of international aid and played down the damage caused by the quake. In response, citizens organized their own rescue brigades.
In the aftermath of the 1985 earthquake, an early-alert earthquake warning system was established in Mexico City and other safety measures were enacted.