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Sep 25, 2017

Belizean Recounts Mexico Earthquake Experience

Millions have been affected by the massive seven point one earthquake that hit Mexico City on the nineteenth of September. Over the weekend, two other quakes were experienced even as Mexico continues to search for survivors. So far the death toll has risen to three hundred and twenty persons and many more are believed dead, trapped beneath the rubble. One Belizean family was heading to the airport in Mexico City when the first tremor was felt. Esner Vellos says the experience was surreal. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Deadly earthquakes continue to shake southern Mexico.  On Saturday, a six point one magnitude tremor rattled Matias Romero, a town just southeast of Mexico City, in the state of Oaxaca.  While the country is still coping with damages caused by stronger earthquakes earlier this month, there were a number of Belizeans who also experienced the massive devastation.  Among them was Esner Vellos, he was vacationing in Mexico and was getting ready to return home when a seven point one magnitude temblor struck on Tuesday.

 

Esner Vellos

Esner Vellos, Vacationer in Mexico City

“It was about one o’clock when we were heading back again to the apartment building to retrieve our luggage and to wait for our driver to take us to the airport and we sat at the lobby area when one of the members of our party was telling me to stop shaking up because you are shaking your legs too much.  And I’m like, but I’m not shaking myself, and then thereafter we started to feel like waves, waves, and then thereafter we felt the brunt of the actual earthquake.  Good thing that I had the electronic card for the main entrance of the apartment building to run, to start running.  I was with my parents and a cousin of mine and my girlfriend and we were like trying to get as quick as possible to the door, but in our minds quick wasn’t as quick as it could have been and we started to see that the environment within the lobby area was getting a little bit dusty.  We managed to get to the door and we opened the door and we walked outside into the sidewalk and then right onto the streets.  But as we were opening the door we started to see that stones were dropping from the façade of the building.  We started to then see the actual chaos that was happening at that specific time when out of nowhere a lot of people were already on the streets and cars were being blocked by people that were already either on the ground crying and we still felt the streets going like a wave.”

 

According to Vellos, it wasn’t until they were leaving Mexico City en route to the airport when they realized the massive destruction in the wake of the earthquake.

 

Esner Vellos

“Leaving the downtown area of Mexico City, the historic center then we were able to appreciate the damage of the earthquake.  I can recall that we saw a building on fire, which before we saw the building on fire we did hear an explosion and it concerned us because we thought that it was very close to us.  We saw some billboards down.  The one that really hits my mind was one billboard that was, that fell down on top of a moving truck, specifically on the container side of it and outside of the truck the driver actually crying.  I believe that he was crying for the fact that he was alive and all that stuff.  What I can vividly recall was how the general population opened up themselves to try to assist other individuals in Mexico, particularly us.  We were very happy that we had a driver and the owners of the company that toured us around were willing to assist us to make sure that we were able to get another flight out of Mexico City or at least to be safe where we were.  We managed to get to the airport about seven or seven-thirty that night, but when we reached the airport the flight was already closed, so we were not able to get out.  We did manage to see a little bit of the destruction and it was heartbreaking, especially when you heard that most of the victims were young kids and especially those kids that were in the school and all that stuff.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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