On Tuesday afternoon, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico City. At least 216 people are officially reported dead, including at least 21 schoolchildren killed after their school collapsed.
For Mexicans old enough to remember, the horrors brought to mind the events from September 19, 1985. That morning, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake also rocked Mexico City. Similarly destructive aftershocks hit the following day and seven months later. The 1985 quake killed at least 10,000 people and caused catastrophic damage to infrastructure.
In a tragic case of irony, according to his Twitter feed, Mexico’s President, Enrique Peña Nieto, had just attended a memorial for the 1985 victims when he received word of Tuesday’s earthquake. Laura Carlsen moved to Mexico City just one year after the 1985 quake. She’s director of the Americas Program at the Center for International Policy.