The Posnack Pulse

Recent Natural Disasters

Maya O.

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The past couple of months have been a powerhouse of natural disasters. There were earthquakes, tornadoes, and category three plus hurricanes all around the Americas. It started on September 7th with a magnitude 8.1 earthquake in southern Mexico.  This was the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in over a century. Twelve days later, on September 19th, another powerful earthquake hit Mexico about 100 miles southeast of Mexico City. The magnitude 7.1 hit on the 32nd anniversary of another earthquake that killed approximately 10,000 Mexican people. During the second earthquake, Mexican city, San Fransisco Xochiteopan,  was hit very hard; out of the 1300 residents, about 39% were left homeless.

        The Enrique Rebasman School, private school in Mexico City, collapsed killing 19 students and 6 adults. This same school previously dealt with legal issues, such as missing building permits, and it is also believed that they built the school without consent of any supervisors. The next earthquake in Mexico on September 19th caused 40 buildings to collapse and killed about 326 people.

        Why is Mexico prone to earthquakes? The scientific explanation has to do with location. Mexico sits right on top of a subduction zone; subduction zones are parts of the earth where a slab of the crust slides under another, and builds friction. This friction causes stress and energy to build in between these slabs of land, which is then released as an earthquake.

The Americas have been affected by other natural disasters such as the infamous hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. The United States government responded quickly to Texas after hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Hurricane Irma hit south Florida on September 10th, and landed on the west side of the state. However, other affected places were not as lucky. Although Hurricane Maria was a category 4 hurricane it was more destructive than hurricane Irma,  and brought with it 150 mile-per-hour winds. This storm hit Puerto Rico on September 20th,  – only eight days after they were previously hit by Irma.

Many people in Puerto Rico have complained about the speed of relief efforts; most hospitals have no water, medical supplies are dwindling, and power could be out across the entire island for as long as six months. People often forget that while Puerto Rico is not a state, it is a United States territory and our government is obligated to provide relief efforts there too.

David Posnack Jewish Day School has had two drives for food, water, and supplies for the citizens of Puerto Rico and they have already arrived on the island. Our school was there to help our fellow citizens and will continue to support recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

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