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In September 2017, one of the most powerful earthquakes ever to hit Mexico was followed by a Gulf Coast hurricane. At least 61 people were killed as workers scrambled to respond to the two national emergencies.

The magnitude 8.1 quake, which occurred off the southern Pacific coast just before midnight on September 7, toppled hundreds of buildings in several states. Hardest hit was Juchitan, Oaxaca, where 36 people died and one third of the city’s homes collapsed or were rendered uninhabitable.

Less than two weeks later, a second powerful earthquake jolted Mexico City, wreaking havoc as buildings collapsed and people fled from their offices along the centrally located Reforma Avenue. Measuring a magnitude of 7.1, the earthquake’s center was located in Puebla, some 40 miles southeast of the capital city. While the extent of damage or injuries was not immediately clear, the local media reported at least 49 deaths and an unspecified number of others who may have been trapped in buildings throughout the city.  

The SGS Mexico team helped in various ways, giving money and distributing clothing and food to the affected communities. Across SGS, our colleagues made an outstanding effort to support victims in the aftermath of the hurricane and earthquakes. Coincidentally, employees had recently participated in first aid training, fire drills, and safety performance contests as part of SGS’s global Safety Month, which takes place every September. They immediately applied their knowledge and skills to helping the people affected by the disasters.