Southern Mexico hit by massive earthquake
A massive 8.1-magnitude earthquake struck off of the southern coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean, near the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, around midnight 7 September. The quake killed at least 95 people, and an estimated 800,000 people were affected. Thousands of homes were either damaged or destroyed across 41 municipalities, and an estimated 50 million people felt the tremor. Guatemala, which shares a border with the state of Chiapas and the location of the epicenter, also felt the disaster as a 7.7-magnitude quake.
So far, one death is confirmed to be a Nazarene church member from the Paredon Church of the Nazarene. That number could rise as rescue efforts continue.
The region is still experiencing large aftershocks, at least six of which registered at 5.0-magnitude or higher, and buildings continue to fall. Most people are fearful of returning to fragile buildings harmed by the initial quake. Multiple Nazarene churches have been destroyed or damaged, though the exact number is still unknown.
Local Nazarene churches have already established 10 distribution sites where they are providing food, water, and basic medical care. So far, at least 2,500 people have received food. Most hospitals are damaged, and the churches have received permission from the government to receive medical supplies get them to the affected areas. A few Nazarene medical doctors were already in or near the affected areas.
Chiapas and Oaxaca are two of the poorest states in Mexico, with more than two-thirds of people living in poverty, and millions living in extreme poverty. Those affected by the earthquake were already among the most vulnerable, and disasters push those living in poverty even close to extreme poverty.
Church leaders are requesting prayer for those affected and support as they work to meet the needs in their communities.
How to help
Please pray for families and individuals affected by the earthquake. Pray especially for those who have lost loved ones. Pray for those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Pray those are experiencing trauma, that they would sense God’s peace and presence. Pray for those who are most vulnerable, especially senior adults, individuals with disabilities, and people living in poverty. Pray for church leaders and churches responding to the needs around them. To send a prayer or note of encouragement, go to ncm.org/pray.
Churches and individuals around the world can provide support through the Mexico Earthquake Response fund. Donations will be used to provide for immediate needs, including food, water, and medical supplies, as well as for long-term rebuilding.
To send donations by mail:
In the U.S., make checks payable to "General Treasurer" and send them to:
Global Treasury Services Church of the Nazarene P.O. Box 843116 Kansas City, MO 64184-3116
Be sure to put 128252 in the Memo area.
In Canada, make checks payable to "Church of the Nazarene Canada" and send them to:
Church of the Nazarene Canada 20 Regan Road, Unit 9 Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3