Oaxaca – A week has passed since the tremendous 7 September earth quake in Mexico epicentre area of Pijijiapan, in Chiapas, followed by 634 after-quakes, which left thousands of families homeless and causing vast damage to people, infrastructure and communities.
The local Catholic church swung immediately into action through Caritas Mexico, providing aid and assistance to the most affected areas and, at the regional and national levels, coordinating collection of food and medicine, prime necessities and mobilisation of volunteers for distribution of supplies.
Rev Rogelio Narvaez, executive secretary of both Caritas Mexico and the Mexican Catholic Bishops’ Conference for Social Pastoral Care, reported to Fides, that the worst hit areas are Minatitlan , Oaxaca and Chiapas. Despite various degrees of damage to infrastructures, most parish rooms, halls and chapels are offering shelter, assistance and aid distribution.
According to Bishop Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, auxiliary of Monterrey and secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Mexico , it is impossible as yet to provide precise assessment of damages, but at least 122 church buildings are reported to have suffered damages and of these 90 have been closed for safety measures.
Mons. Miranda tells of tragic reports from bishops in the areas of Tehuantepec, Tapachula, Antequera-Oaxaca and Mixes prelature, where at least 20 villages are still totally isolated. In the meantime aid is pouring in from Catholic aid organisations worldwide in particular from Germany, Norway, Spain, France and South Korea.
The 8.2 magnitude quake that struck the southern Mexico coast in the evening of 7 September, left at least 90 casualties: 71 in Oaxaca State, 15 in Chiapas and 4 in Tabasco. >>