How To Help The Victims Of The Central Mexico Earthquake

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the country's capital, leveling buildings and killing hundreds.

First responders and residents began digging through the rubble on Tuesday afternoon after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico City.

The violent shaking toppled dozens of buildings throughout the country’s capital and the surrounding areas, leaving more than 230 people dead. Among the victims were 21 children and four adults who were at the Enrique Rebsámen elementary school at the time of the tremblor, according to The Guardian.

Mexico is still recovering from a magnitude 8.2 earthquake, the strongest one the country has felt in 100 years, which hit the southern coast just two weeks ago. Tuesday’s temblor also fell on the 32nd anniversary of the magnitude 8.0 earthquake that struck Mexico City in 1985, killing thousands.

In a statement issued on Tuesday night, President Enrique Pena Nieto said authorities were focused on rescuing those who were still trapped in the rubble or in need of medical attention. But many others will require assistance in the coming weeks and months.

Here’s how you can help.

1. Donate money or supplies

Rescue, volunteer and emergency aid organizations will need as many resources as possible. Organizations including UNICEF Mexico and UNICEF U.S.A., the Mexican Red Cross and Brigada de Rescate Topos, a local disaster relief volunteer organization, are looking for monetary donations.

You can also donate to groups using crowdfunding sites, including Global Giving and GoFundMe, which has created a specific landing page for all verified Mexico donation pages. Actress Selma Hayek, who was born in Mexico, has also launched her own fundraising campaign for UNICEF to help the victims of the Mexico earthquakes.

Groups and locations that are accepting all types of donations include: Oxfam U.S. and Oxfam Mexico (money only), Save the Children Mexico, La Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, World Vision, The Salvation Army and Project Paz.

Nonprofits on the ground in Mexico City will need supplies, including water, batteries, medicine, food and canned goods. If you’re in central Mexico, you find a list of local donation collection centers here.

2. Share emergency information on social media

Social media has proven to be an important tool during large-scale natural disasters. People in Mexico are using this public Google document to list the names of those who have been rescued. Google also opened its People Finder feature, which helps collect information on victims.

Tweets and Facebook posts with information on open hospitals and shelters were also useful for those affected by the earthquake.

3. If you live in or around Mexico City...

Make your WiFi connection public so that victims and families may get in touch with each other. If you are a medical professional or have experience with architectural engineering, find a disaster zone where your expertise may be utilized.

If you cannot provide professional medical experience, rescue organizations are asking that you stay out of disaster areas for your own safety and the safety of victims who are injured or trapped.

Clarification: This story has been updated to specify that Oxfam U.S. and Oxfam Mexico, two regional chapters of the same nonprofit organization, are only accepting money donations.

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