Sept, 20, 2017 México City
Thousands of children desperately need a safe place to shelter before nightfall, World Vision said today, following a devastating earthquake in Mexico that has killed more than 200 people.
Hundreds of people are believed to be trapped in buildings. Around 40 per cent of Mexico City is without power, and 220 schools in the city suffered damage, 15 of them severely.
Children and their families are now out on the streets, afraid to go home in case of aftershocks. Without emergency shelters to go to they will be forced to sleep on the streets tonight.
"We can confirm the death of dozens of people, many of them children that were trapped in their schools or homes," said Silvia Novoa, National Director of World Vision Mexico.
"As a humanitarian organisation devoted to the wellbeing of children, they are our primary concern as this crisis develops. We have been providing food and medicine to those who are on now the streets, and are determined to find safe places for them to sleep before night falls."
World Vision is working closely with local authorities to meet the needs of vulnerable children and their families. On top of those forced onto the streets, millions of children were overnight plunged into darkness and have been left terrified.
Among the most urgent needs are mobile sanitary cabins and electric generators to continue for the search of people still buried under rubble.
"We are calling the international community and everyone around the globe to support us to make sure that every child is protected after this traumatic event," Novoa said.
Victor Martinez, World Vision Mexico’s communication manager, said: “We have deployed staff to the worst affected areas of the capital, as well as Puebla and Morelos to help with the rescue effort. Teams of volunteers are on the ground removing rubble piece by piece. Our priority is to save lives.”
Rescue efforts continued through the night in the densely-populated capital.
Martinez said, “We are working with the emergency services to establish shelters, as well as distribute and hygiene kits.
“Our specialists will provide emotional support for children. These disasters are incredibly traumatic for children some of whom will have lost their friends, families and homes in this earthquake.”
World Vision eyewitnesses are available for interview via:
Mobile: +506 88175727