Not Counting on the Government to Rescue Them, Mexicans Are Saving Themselves

Volunteer rescue workers gather during the search for survivors and bodies in Mexico City on Sept. 21, 2017, two days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (Credit: Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images)

Volunteer rescue workers gather during the search for survivors and bodies in Mexico City on Sept. 21, 2017, two days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (Credit: Alfredo Estrella / AFP / Getty Images)

In the moments after the earthquake, they didn’t cower, they mobilized.

By the tens of thousands, volunteers streamed toward the Mexico City neighborhoods most damaged by Tuesday’s violent temblor. Some carried shovels, others hauled donations of food and water. Many simply offered up two good hands.

They weren’t public authorities or professionals. They were ordinary Mexicans who knew from experience that during a crisis such as an earthquake, it’s better to do things yourself than to rely on the government for help.

Exactly 32 years before this week’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake brought down dozens of buildings and killed more than 270 people across central Mexico, a more devastating temblor leveled a much vaster stretch of Mexico City.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Volunteer rescue workers wait in the rain near a collapsed building for a chance to help in the search for survivors in Mexico City on Sept. 21, 2017, two days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (Credit: Yuri Cortez / AFP / Getty Images)

Volunteer rescue workers wait in the rain near a collapsed building for a chance to help in the search for survivors in Mexico City on Sept. 21, 2017, two days after a strong quake hit central Mexico. (Credit: Yuri Cortez / AFP / Getty Images)