Science | September 21, 2017 11:50 am

Mexico Mobilizes Through Solidarity After the Biggest Earthquake in 30 Years

At least 250 people died in the earthquake on Tuesday.

Mexico was hit by the biggest earthquake in three decades on Tuesday afternoon. The 7.1-magnitude earthquake killed at least 250 people and devastated homes in Mexico City. But CNN writes that moments after the earthquake hit, as aftershocks continued to shake the country, Mexico City residents mobilized through solidarity.

An elementary school had collapsed in the city’s Coapa district. When the news spread, residents traveled to the district en masses, bringing anything and everything they could to dig out those buried in the rubble, reports CNN. Others brought food and water to deliver to the rescuers. Sixteen-year-old Luisa told CNN that she and her friends had been delivering candy and water to rescuers at the schoolhouse. She said it was a “horrible” sight. She saw a “lot of children dead on the floor,” according to CNN. The bodies of twenty-one children and four adults were recovered from the collapsed schoolhouse by Wednesday morning, reports CNN. 

Volunteers were also driving pickup trucks and motorcades packed with bottled water, food, medicine and blankets through the city streets. CNN writes that a group of teenagers passed out face masks and directed traffic, showing trucks which centers needed which supplies. Members of the Mexican navy and marines and a group of volunteer doctors worked 24/7 inside the school compound. If the rescue teams shouted that they needed something, an assembly line of volunteers was ready and willing to help. The volunteers worked through pouring rain, “painstakingly removing pieces of debris” from the former school.

Seventy-year-old volunteer Héctor Méndez said that he was “proud of how his fellow countrymen had responded to the scene” and that he thought “optimism grown from pain could guide Mexicans through a new chapter.”

CNN writes that the volunteers made “no distinction between gender, race, age or class,” they were just there to help.