Chiapas Governor 6 minutes before earthquake: “We’re ready for the mega earthquake drill”
By Mario Andrade
March 22, 2012
The Mexican State of Chiapas held a ‘mega earthquake drill’ just minutes before the 7.8 Richter scale earthquake registered in Southern Mexico, according to the news website ADNPolitico.com. Governor Juan Sabines Guerrero sent a message from his Twitter account just six minutes before the actual earthquake. The translation of the message is the following:
“We’re at the State of Chiapas Civil Protection Center. Everything is ready for the 7.9 Richter scale earthquake simulation.”
Six minutes later, and about 500 kilometers west of Chiapas, in the neighboring southern state of Guerrero, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake was registered. The earthquake was so massive that over a hundred aftershocks were felt throughout the following day.
The Chiapas Civil Protection ‘mega earthquake simulation’ was planned since last February, according to state officials. The purpose of this drill was to test the responsiveness of the State Civil Protection System and the general public upon the occurrence of a large scale earthquake, and to allow the exercise participants to evaluate and provide feedback on first response protocol.
The Chiapas state government said that this geographical area is located in a region between three tectonic plates: The Cocos Plate, the Caribbean Plate and North American Plate.
State officials also emphasized that earthquakes are very common in that region. “Just in January, there were 188 earthquakes with epicenter in this state, over 50% of registered earthquakes in the country. That’s why we must be prepared to avoid or reduce undesirable effects of these earthquakes.” said a Chiapas state official.
The mega earthquake drill involved nearly 43,000 public officials and more than 19,600 school facilities. A list of documents, details of the simulation, location, and the drill schedule can be found on the Chiapas Civil Protection Website.