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Mexico quake damages homes but spares lives

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Mexican authorities say the 7.4-magnitude earthquake that sent panicked residents running into the streets March 20 has damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes but spared life and limb, with first responders reporting few injuries and not a single death.

The earthquake was centered near the municipality of Ometepec in southern Mexico's Guerrero state, about 100 miles from Acapulco and 200 miles from Mexico City. IMB missionary Orpha Ortega was in her home in Mexico City when the quake struck.

"I was trying to get out of the house, and instead of going out ... it was moving me toward the opposite way, like if someone was pulling me somewhere," Ortega said. "Then I got out and I was so dizzy that I could barely handle it."

Baptist Global Response, a Southern Baptist international relief and development organization, classified the earthquake as a "Level One" disaster that did not require outside assistance, said David Brown, who with his wife Jo directs BGR work in the Americas.

The earthquake is the biggest to hit Mexico since 1985 when an 8.0 quake left more than 10,000 dead. Officials say more earthquake-resistant construction and building regulations likely helped limit severe damage.

In addition to the destruction, residents are dealing with widespread power outages while aftershocks continue. As Ortega answered the phone for this interview, she said they were in the midst of another aftershock.


"If I stand up, I feel like I'm going to fall," she said. "I'm here holding on to a sofa."

For prayer:

-- Pray for those who've lost homes in the earthquake.

-- Ask God to provide opportunities for Southern Baptist workers to minister to those who have been affected.

-- Pray for safety for the Mexican people as aftershocks continue.

Laura Fielding & Don Graham are writers for the International Mission Board.

Copyright (c) 2012 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press

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