SAN ANTONIO - Local leaders announced a community-wide effort to support the earthquake relief efforts on Thursday morning.
"The tragedy in Mexico City and surrounding areas hits close to home because, for so many of our residents, Mexico is an extension of home," San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg said.
Just weeks ago, San Antonians moved quickly to provide a compassionate, humanitarian response to fellow Texans. That response is now directed to our neighbors south of the border.
I have been constantly receiving signs of support and words of support and offers of help," said Ambassador Reyna Torres, Consul General of Mexico in San Antonio.
A 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit southeast of Mexico city late Tuesday. Buildings collapsed, more than 200 people died.
San Antonio quickly jumped on the opportunity to lend a hand.
"These are our family," Nirenberg said. "If it weren't for a line drawn on a map, we'd be doing this as if we were helping Corpus Christi or Port Aransas."
As Mexican officials iron out logistics, the Bexar County Hospital District has $200,000 worth of medical supplies on standby.
All relief efforts are being directed to the Mexican Consulate to coordinate donations.
"I know your hearts are bursting with a want to help our friends, our family," said Nirenberg. "Do that. We are a compassionate city. There are ways we can be most effective with that help."
Ambassador Torres says the primary focus in Mexico now is rescuing people buried in the rubble.
Had the nation not prepared since the big earthquake of '85, she said the number of casualties would be much higher.
"Since then we have prepared ourselves not only the authorities with new construction cuts and new measures and new institutions to deal with this kind of emergencies, but also the population. We conduct a drill every year on September 19 to be prepared," said Torres.
Torres said they have enough supplies in Mexico right now to handle the emergency, so no need for material donations.
As emergency response continues, the long-term relief is what's needed the most.
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has also started a bank account to help with Mexico earthquake relief.
According to the Consul General of Mexico, those interested in sending humanitarian aid to the victims of the Mexico City earthquake, please be informed there are already sufficient supplies in Mexico to handle the emergency. At the moment, there is no need for material donations. The consulate will advise if that situation changes.
All aid from abroad will be channeled through donations to the Mexican Red Cross. Follow these steps:
1. Visit the website www.cruzrojadonaciones.org and capture the following data to create an account.
2. Credit card info or PayPal account (the amount is in Mexican pesos) and select the cause "SISMO 19/09/17".
3. The website will confirm that the transaction was successful and will issue a receipt.
Follow the consulate online to stay up to date.
Emergency telephone numbers:
Centro de Información y Asistencia a Mexicanos (CIAM) Teléfono gratuito, disponible las 24 horas, los siete días de la semana
Cruz Roja Mexicana: +52 55 55 57 57 57
Protección Civil: +52 55 5683 2222
Locatel: +52 55 5658 1111
For further information on the Consulate General of Mexico in San Antonio
127 Navarro St., San Antonio, TX 78205
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