Official news source of the Assemblies of God
On Tuesday, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico near the town of Raboso in Puebla, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City. More than 225 people have lost their lives, and many more are missing. Rescuers continue to search through the rubble of schools, offices, and apartments.
Among the most tragic scenes reported by multiple news sources is that of a collapsed school building, where all through the night rescuers clawed rubble with their bare hands, looking for children trapped underneath. They worked in silence as often as possible so that they would be able to hear tiny voices crying out for help.
This second disaster in a month struck on the 32nd anniversary of a 1985 earthquake that killed 10,000 people and left tens of thousands more injured and/or homeless. Just two weeks ago, a magnitude 8.1 tremor in southern Mexico caused buildings in Mexico City to rock for more than 60 seconds and killed 90 people. Experts have stated that much of Mexico City is built on a former lakebed, which can amplify earthquakes even hundreds of miles away.
In light of these conditions, and in honor of the 1985 quake anniversary, the region conducted earthquake drills just hours before Tuesday’s earthquake occurred.
All AGWM missionaries in Mexico have been safely accounted for, but details about the quake’s effects on AG churches and other ministries around the country are pending.
Missionary Sandy Kazim reports from her apartment in Portales (an area of Mexico City). “I spent most of the afternoon outside consoling the elderly in our building who were quite shaken up,” she says. “Nothing like a crisis to bring people together. The movement here during the quake was up and down so much so that I couldn’t stand up and walk. It was the strongest jolting I have experienced in that fashion.”
According to Kazim, AGWM missionary Peter Breit was downtown with a team when it happened, and they witnessed parts of a cathedral falling. Kazim checked in with a local Teen Challenge center to make sure the pastors and men there were safe.
“One of the kids working there, Luis, is an only child with a mom and dad in Jojutla,” Kazim says. “He is very shaken up. He heard from a friend that his mom had to be hospitalized. He has no idea if his dad is alive. He cannot get there, as the bridge into that part of Morelos has collapsed. An apartment building two blocks from our house collapsed on itself. They are not letting people on that street.”
David Ellis, AGWM regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, is asking for special prayer. “Following the devastation caused by hurricanes in the Caribbean and the USA, and the two earthquakes that have rattled Mexico, I am calling us to prayer for the people suffering and grieving from these natural disasters,” Ellis says. “All missionaries are accounted for, but our hearts go out to our Mexican brothers and sisters, and to those who don’t know the Lord. Join us in prayer for our colleagues who live and serve in the countries affected, for the national churches, and for the churches and donors in the United States who reach out to those who need help with relief and rebuilding.”
For more information about specific relief and rebuilding efforts in the Caribbean and Mexico, visit agwm.com and click on the “Give” button on the top menu bar. A pull-down list includes the specific relief and rebuilding accounts for Hurricane Irma and the Mexico quakes. A downloadable video concerning Cuba with AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis is available at crisisresponse.ag.org/pastors.