Church News

Missionaries Reported Safe Following Massive Mexico Earthquake

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake shook Mexico’s Pacific Coast

Mexico earthquake 2020
An urban search and rescue rescuer in Mexico City, Mexico looks at additional damage to a building already damaged in the 2017 earthquake following an earthquake on June 23, 2020. According to the National Seismological Service a 7.5 magnitude earthquake was registered on Tuesday in Mexico City and in various areas of the country. Photo by Manuel Velasquez/Getty Images.All rights reserved.
            

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By Jason Swensen, Church News

    

No missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were harmed during Tuesday’s powerful 7.4 magnitude earthquake that shook Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

All full-time missionaries “are safe and accounted for,” reported Church spokesman Daniel Woodruff. Officials continue to assess any damage suffered by members or Church-owned properties.

At least six people were killed and many more were seriously injured in Tuesday’s quake. The casualties were reported near the quake’s epicenter in the southwestern state of Oaxaca, according to Reuters.

A witness in the state’s Pacific Coast resort town of La Crucecita, which Mexican authorities said was the epicenter of the earthquake, saw anxious residents standing outside their homes hours after the tremor, fearing deadly aftershocks.

Houses were scarred by wide cracks across walls and residents sought to clear debris from the streets. About 200 houses in the area were damaged, including 30 that were badly impacted, a local official said.

Rockfalls blocked winding mountain roads between the state capital of Oaxaca City and the coast. Rescue workers reported three people seriously injured in the remote hill village of Santa Catarina Xanaguia, one state official said.

Rescue workers battled for hours to reach the settlement near the epicenter, where the quake brought down homes and parts of the mountainside, the official said.

Meanwhile, in Mexico City buildings shook strongly and people ran into the streets when an early warning seismic alarm sounded, reported Reuters.

Two people were injured and more than 30 buildings in the capital suffered damage, officials said.

Tuesday’s quake hit almost three years after a pair of massive earthquakes claimed hundreds of lives, including those of several Latter-day Saints.

The first struck southern Mexico on September 7, 2017, killing more than 90 people, including three members. The second struck closer to the sprawling capital of Mexico City on September 19, killing more than 300 people.

The Church responded to those catastrophes with a large-scale relief effort, providing aid in the form of provisions, equipment and essential volunteer labor. Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles visited quake-impacted regions a few months later, offering much-appreciated spiritual uplift to Mexicans of all backgrounds still recovering from the natural disasters.

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