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Oxfam teams focus on rural areas in Mexico earthquake response

By Oxfam
This building was severely damaged in Zacatepeca, a town in Morelos that is about 75 miles from Mexico City and very close to the epicenter of the earthquake. Photo: Francisco Sandoval/Animal Politico

Evaluation of impact is concentrated in poor areas outside Mexico City

Oxfam staff are wrapping up assessments of damage in earthquake-affected areas outside Mexico City, and evaluating the most urgent needs of people relating to water, sanitation, hygiene, food, and the protection of women, children, and other vulnerable people.

According to government figures, 318 people have died, 765 people are injured and hospitalized following earthquakes in Oaxaca on September 7 and the September 19 earthquake in Morelos that affected Mexico City. Staff have been deployed to assess needs in Morelos, Puebla, and Oaxaca.

Seventy-three people are reported dead in Morelos, where as many as 10,000 homes are damaged. Many of the roads in this area are damaged. In Puebla, 45 people have died and some of the affected communities are cut off due to roads blocked with debris, so it has been difficult to determine the exact number of people who need help. There was another earthquake on September 23 that hit Oaxaca, where there are 59,000 damaged homes, according to media reports.

Recovery and rebuilding

Oxfam is focusing on ensuring that help gets to people who are far away or out of reach, that government resources are used in an effective and transparent way, and that the rights of all people, especially women and children, are respected. Women and children tend to suffer more in emergencies, given their lack of access and control of resources, and also owing to their absence in rescue plans, response and recovery.

“We are monitoring all levels of government,” Oxfam’s office in Mexico said in a statement released over the weekend. “Our job is to ensure that communities aren’t forgotten once the media spotlight turns away. It is important that the recovery and response is done with respect to the voice and will of the people, with dignity and fairness, and with transparent use of resources that are not politicized.”

Oxfam and our partners are assessing the damage and identifying the most urgent needs of affected people. We are coordinating with the government and other aid organizations, and developing a response plan.

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