In the aftermath of an earthquake in central Mexico that killed at least 217 people, Southern Baptists are moving to assess opportunities for response.
Screen capture from CNN
This Mexico City school was among many buildings destroyed by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake Sept. 19.
The 7.1-magnitude quake struck Sept. 19, exactly 32 years after an even-larger tremor devastated large areas of Mexico City and killed about 10,000 people. This new earthquake was centered about 76 miles southeast of the city and affected five states.
Less than two weeks ago, a magnitude-8.1 quake struck southern Mexico about 400 miles southeast from today’s location. That tremor damaged 41,000 homes and killed nearly 100 people.
Now 2 million people in Mexico City are without power, and at least 29 buildings in the city have collapsed, according to initial news reports. Civil protection authorities in Mexico are evaluating the need for international assistance.
Baptist Global Response (BGR), a Southern Baptist humanitarian organization, “is already in contact with our on-ground partners in Mexico and surrounding areas to determine appropriate responses in the next few days,” said BGR CEO Jeff Palmer. “We also are monitoring the Mexican authorities with respect to see if there is a call for international assistance.”
After the Sept. 7 quake, a relief caravan made up of Mexican Baptists and Southern Baptist representatives made its way into that disaster zone. In addition to that response, Southern Baptists also have mobilized for disaster relief after two hurricanes – Harvey and Irma – ravaged Caribbean islands and the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Now the suffering of all those multitudes is overlaid with widespread trauma in Mexico, and yet another hurricane is bearing down on the Caribbean. Palmer calls for a renewed focus on prayer.
“Pray for the people affected by this earthquake,” Palmer said. “Pray for the Mexican national organizations that are responding with search and rescue operations.”
To learn how you can help with the ongoing Southern Baptist disaster responses, visit namb.net and gobgr.org.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Mark Kelly is a career Southern Baptist journalist and freelance writer in Marietta, Ga.)