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What you should know about the earthquake drill in Mexico this September 19

(CNN Spanish) — On the anniversary of the two earthquakes that hit Mexico City hard in 1985 and 2017, Mexico will carry out a national earthquake drill on September 19 in order to identify and analyze risks and vulnerabilities in the face of another similar emergency. in the country.

The objective of this national drill is to inform and spread the culture of protection for the country’s inhabitants so that they are prepared in the event of an earthquake and can prepare actions in the event of an emergency.

The national earthquake drill will take place this Monday, September 19 at 12:19 p.m. Central Mexico time, and includes the activation of the seismic alert in the country’s capital, only as part of the exercise.

Myriam Urzúa Venegas, head of the Secretariat for Comprehensive Risk Management and Civil Protection, reported that in the case of Mexico City the scenario that will arise will be that of “an earthquake of great magnitude”, so once the seismic alert, the protocols established in the family risk plan should be considered.

“The earthquakes of 1985 and 2017 taught us lessons that we must not forget,” said Urzúa Venegas about the importance of this Monday’s drill, recalling earthquakes that have marked the history of Mexico. The first, which is perhaps the deadliest in recent history, left a balance of at least 3,692 dead, although the Mexican Red Cross indicates that it exceeded 10,000 deaths, according to figures from the Mexico City government.

In the second, that of 2017, the official figure was 369 deaths, with some 250,000 victims and more than 180,000 homes that suffered damage with a magnitude 7.1 earthquake.

The National Center for Disaster Prevention has said that “there is no person or institution capable of predicting the date, time, place and intensity of an earthquake”, but it is necessary to prepare for a natural event that occurs without prior notice.

What should you take into account for the drill on September 19?

The simulation will have a hypothesis of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake, hypothetically occurring on the coasts of Michoacán and Guerrero, 42 km northwest of La Mira, Michoacán, with a depth of 16 km, according to the National Civil Protection Coordination.

The perception and preparation of this supposed earthquake will be felt differently throughout the country, in this way, according to Civil Protection:

Violent and severe: Michoacán, Guerrero, Jalisco, Mexico City, State of Mexico and Morelos.
Strong and very Strong: Jalisco, Colima, Michoacán, Guerrero, State of Mexico, Morelos, Puebla and Oaxaca.
Moderate: Jalisco, Guanajuato, State of Mexico, Morelos, Hidalgo, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Veracruz and Oaxaca.
Light and weak: Nayarit, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo León, Tamaulipas, Hidalgo, Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Tabasco and Chiapas.

In addition, two strong landslides due to the hypothetical earthquake will be noted in Lázaro Cárdenas Michoacán and Zihuatanejo, Guerrero.

What to do during the drill?

Depending on the area of ​​influence, according to the proposed scenario, each region must plan a preparation to act at that moment: what to do?, simulate emergency situations, assign responsibilities to each person in the community, prepare a first-aid kit and other important elements during an emergency. emergency and identify safe areas, emergency exits, safe meeting points, among others, says Civil Protection.

It is recommended to make a family civil protection plan, adapt it to any type of emergency, draw a safety sketch for evacuation and, externally, identify the Internal Civil Protection Unit of your building, school or workplace.

“The execution of the Drill consists of putting into practice everything that was planned, what you agreed with your community or the Municipal and State Civil Protection Unit, for the application of established procedures or standards,” says Civil Protection.

At the end of the day, an evaluation must be made to identify successes and correct failures in the face of a real emergency event.

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