An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the richter scale occurred on Sept. 19 in central Mexico, as the country was still reeling from its second strongest quake in history, an 8.1 earthquake just off the country’s southern coast that hit on Sept. 8. The epicenters of the two earthquakes were roughly 400 miles apart.

Because of its proximity to Mexico City, the Sept. 19 tremblor killed at least 370 people, including 228 in the capital city. The earthquake also struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake that killed more than 10,000.

The quake leveled more than 40 buildings across central Mexico, including a church on the slopes of Popocatepetl in Atzitzihuacan that collapsed during mass, killing 15 people.

While stronger, the death toll from the Sept. 8 quake was fewer than 100 people, including 78 in Oaxaca. The earthquake damaged an estimated 41,000 homes and affected up to 1.5 million people.

The earthquakes caused widespread damage to homes, schools, businesses, and public infrastructure. The estimated cost of rebuilding from both quakes is between $2 billion and $4 billion.

More than 60 private donors have given nearly $125 million to recovery efforts in Mexico.

Critical Needs

Housing and business recovery. The two earthquakes destroyed thousands of homes across Mexico, as well as numerous businesses.

Local capacity building. Support to and capacity building work with local organizations is of greatest importance to success here.


If you are a responding NGO or a donor, please send updates on how you are working in this crisis to anna.hurt@disasterphilanthropy.org.

If you are a donor looking for recommendations on how to help in this crisis, please email regine.webster@disasterphilanthropy.org

Learn More

Read the CDP Issue Insight on Earthquakes.