Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at 7:24 AM

‘Aftershock’ of Mexico Earthquake Is Another Earthquake

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

On September 8, Mexico suffered the most powerful earthquake in a century.  It registered 8.1, killed nearly 100 people, and destroyed over 45,000 homes.

But the media were still so fixated on the trail of destruction Hurricane Harvey left in his wake that this quake got scant coverage.

Then yesterday, just 11 days later, Mexico suffered another less powerful (at 7.1) but more deadly quake.

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, toppling buildings, rattling the capital and sending people flooding into the streets for the second time in just two weeks. …

By evening, about 120 people had been reported killed across the country … more than 40 buildings and other structures in Mexico City collapsed, including at least two schools, officials said, crushing cars and trapping some people inside. …

Tuesday’s earthquake struck on the 32nd anniversary of another major disaster: the 1985 quake that killed as many as 10,000 people in Mexico.

(New York Times, September 19, 2017)

Now, with the world so fixated on the path of destruction Hurricane Maria is blazing through the Caribbean, this quake seems fated for scant coverage too.

I hasten to clarify that I am not lobbying for the media to provide wallowing, wall-to-wall coverage of earthquakes affecting Mexicans, namely of the kind they invariably provide of hurricanes affecting Americans. Not least because I fully appreciate that earthquakes are static phenomena, whereas hurricanes are barreling phenomena.

Naturally, the former cannot compete with the latter when it comes to drumming up suspense and holding people’s rubbernecking interest in looming doom. In fact, dramatic attempts to rescue people trapped under the rubble are the only things that sustain media coverage of the immediate aftermath of earthquakes.

I just think a little more media coverage of the devastation these earthquakes caused might move Americans to give more aid. I have in mind the coverage of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, which led to an unprecedented outpouring of international sympathy … and aid.

In the meantime, the death toll as I write this has risen to over 200. But countless remain trapped – most of whom are feared dead …

Truth be told, the main point of this commentary is to beg you to spare a little time and a dime for Mexico (i.e., as you become fixated on the ravages of Maria):


Related commentaries:
Haiti earthquake
Hurricane Isaac
Hurricane Harvey/Irma

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