As Mexico begins earthquake recovery, Puerto Rico braces for Hurricane Maria

Sep 20, 2017


Mexican rescue teams look for people trapped in the rubble at the Enrique Rebsamen elementary school in Mexico City on September 20, 2017. At least 21 children were killed and about 30 children are still missing at the school.; Credit: MARIO VAZQUEZ/AFP/Getty Images


On Tuesday, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Central Mexico, devastating the capital and the surrounding cities.

Death toll rose to more than 200 the day after the quake and continues to climb. A number of buildings collapsed in Mexico City, creating clouds of dust throughout the affected area. The deadly quake also fell on the 32nd anniversary of another natural disaster that killed thousands in the country. Residents, who had just taken part in large drills to mark the anniversary, ran to safety when the real quake struck.

Across the Caribbean, Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, ripping out trees and tossing vehicles on the island. Maria was the first hurricane of Category 4 strength or higher in nearly a century to hit the US territory, home to 3.3 million people. Thousands headed to emergency shelters, but most are still waiting for first responders who are unable to dispatch due to the strong wind.

Host Larry Mantle checks in on the latest update from natural disasters with our correspondents in Mexico City and San Juan.


Carrie Kahn, international correspondent for NPR based in Mexico City who’s been following the story; she tweets @ckahn

Samantha Schmidt, reporter at The Washington Post; we reached her in San Juan where she’s been reporting on Maria since Tuesday; she tweets @schmidtsam7

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at

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