USAID works alongside Mexican teams to rescue, rebuild

U.S. structural engineers and disaster experts are on the ground in Mexico City working with the Mexican government to make sure that it’s safe for people affected by the September 19 earthquake to return to their homes and offices.

At the same time, specialized teams with the U.S. Agency for International Development and their Mexican counterparts continue to search for possible survivors from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Mexico City and surrounding areas.

People wearing safety gear standing amid rubble and broken buildings (USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance)
Rescue teams search for survivors in buildings flattened by the earthquake. (USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance)

USAID’s specialized Disaster Assistance Response Team arrived in Mexico on September 20, the day after the quake killed more than 300 people in the area and damaged hundreds of buildings. The team brought 28,000 kilograms of tools, including listening devices, search cameras, hydraulic jackhammers, drills, and other equipment and medical supplies.

Also working with USAID and local Mexican authorities: 67 people and five canines from the Los Angeles County Fire Department. The dogs are trained to find victims trapped under the rubble and, like the people, work alongside their Mexican counterparts.

The U.S. offered support to Mexico shortly after the earthquake. “God bless the people of Mexico City,” President Trump sent via tweet on September 19. “We are with you and will be there for you.”

USAID currently has six Disaster Assistance Response Teams deployed around the world, including in Caribbean countries hit by hurricanes this month. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance leads and coordinates the U.S. government’s response to international disasters. USAID typically responds to 65 disasters in more than 50 countries every year.