Mexican immigrants can call hotline, consulate for quake news, ways to help

7.1 magnitude earthquake rocks Central Mexico

A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rattled central Mexico on Sept. 19, the anniversary of a deadly 1985 quake that killed thousands.
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A 7.1 magnitude earthquake rattled central Mexico on Sept. 19, the anniversary of a deadly 1985 quake that killed thousands.

Sacramento-area residents looking to help or get information about their loved ones following the devastating earthquake in Mexico City can call the Mexican government and the Sacramento Mexican Consulate, Consul General Liliana Ferrer said Wednesday.

The 7.1-magnitude quake, which struck Tuesday, has killed at least 225, according to the latest count.

“As a Mexican national and Mexico City citizen, I’m deeply saddened by this tragedy, and trying to work as efficiently as possible to provide information to the nearly 1 million people in my jurisdiction as to what is happening, how their loved ones are and to coordinate the very kind help offered by the California Office of Emergency Services and the generous Californians who want to donate,” said Ferrer, whose family in Mexico City survived the quake.

She said the best way to provide assistance is to contact the Mexican Red Cross through its website, www.cruzrojamexicana.org.mx. Mexican nationals needing more information can contact the Center for Information and Assistance for Mexicans, or CIAM, at 855-463-6395. CIAM is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To reach the Consulate directly to offer assistance or get more information, call the community affairs office at 916-329-3542.

Federal and state officials are concentrating on rescue and civil protection efforts, the Consulate said in a statement. “The most important task is to attend to the injured and conduct a complete evaluation of the damage to buildings.” Because communications may be compromised or knocked out, “we ask for the patience of those seeking information on their family members in the regions of Mexico affected by the earthquake. Refrain from saturating the telephone network and Internet, use them only in cases of emergency.”

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has indicated that state-run emergency services and public health clinics are available and open to the entire population. Those near the location of the epicenter, primarily in Mexico City and the states of Mexico, Puebla, Morelos and Guerrero are asked to “remain attentive to official announcements.”

Stephen Magagnini: 916-321-1072, @SteveMagagnini