Annan offers UN help following deadly earthquake in Mexico

22 January 2003

Secretary-General Kofi Annan today offered United Nations assistance after a deadly earthquake struck Mexico last night.

“The United Nations recognizes the prompt response of Mexican authorities to the needs created by the earthquake and stands ready to assist them, should they request support in these endeavours,” said a statement released by a UN spokesman in New York.

The earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, hit western Mexico just after 8 p.m. local time Tuesday. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said preliminary information indicated that at least 17 people were killed and more than 100 injured in Colima, about 500 kilometres west of Mexico City.

OCHA added that there are no reports that major buildings were destroyed but the electrical supply and telecommunications were disrupted. The Office is in contact with the UN Resident Coordinator in Mexico and so far, the Mexican Government has not asked for international assistance.

“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened by the loss of life, injuries and destruction that have resulted from the disaster,” the statement said. “He wishes to convey his condolences to the people and Government of Mexico and his heartfelt sympathy to all who have suffered as a result of the disaster.”

 

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