Mexico City has had annual earthquake drills in the past. They were often held on September 19th, the anniversary of the devastating 1985 quake that left tens of thousands dead, injured or homeless. In a freakish coincidence, in 2017, on the 32nd anniversary of the “big one”, the drill was held at 11:00 A.M., and two hours later a 7.1 magnitude quake shook Mexico City and the states of Puebla and Morelos. 370 people died and more than 6000 were injured.
This year, the government announced a nationwide earthquake drill for the first time. The drill was a hypothetical scenario of a 7.5 magnitude quake on the border of Puebla and Veracruz states. At 11:00 A.M. yesterday morning the 13,898 alarms throughout the country went off. I made it a point to leave the apartment before the sirens went off.
¡Alerta sísmica! ¡Alerta sísmica!
Obviously, not everyone paid attention to the drill. There were, however, groups of people outside the hotel down the street and outside the World Trade Center.
All public transportation halted for three minutes, and a number of streets around the World Trade Center were closed off. After the drill, traffic remained snarled for quite a while.