Well, this one was close. The epicenter was about 100 miles away versus 900, last time. I was talking on the phone with my daughter, Laura, back in Washington, D.C., as it happened. It was even more amazing, this time, to see how much rocking and rolling our house could take, with minimal damage. Many houses are concrete with steel rebar, and are made to withstand earthquakes. Also, certain sites, like those for Tepoztlan, our town, and Cuernavaca, the city, nearby, are built on volcanic and igneous rock. This provides so much more stability than soil. For added stability, good home builders, here, place large boulders on each side of concrete foundations of homes and buildings. If these factors were not in place, the death toll would be so much higher in our area.
I noticed that some buildings that were in the middle of the valley, where the topsoil was many feet, deep, suffered more from the quake. My favorite grocery store, near this location, did O.K, structurally, but all the groceries were knocked off the shelves. Behind the store, the home of a “friend of a friend” was destroyed. Further towards the middle of the valley, a popular three story hotel was twisted and leaning, and will have to be demolished. Adobe brick walls on the perimeters of some properties were partially collapsed.
One of the adobe brick walls that collapsed was in the courtyard, garden of a restaurant where our monthly meeting of our “Lunch Bunch” was scheduled for the day after the quake. Most restaurants in Mexico use the courtyard/gardens inside the buildings for the main seating areas. There were thirty of us scheduled to be there. There was a young man who was killed by this falling wall, the day before.
As it was, for my family, all we suffered was a couple of broken coffee mugs, a few hairline cracks in a few walls, loss of power for a day, and loss of internet for awhile. But many, many people were affected emotionally, because of the sense of community. I was used to seeing hundreds of folks in supermarkets, prior to blizzards, in Maryland. stocking up on key items. Carlos and I went to the Walmart to stock up on key items for those in hard hit areas. There were hundreds of others, there doing the same.