Mexico earthquake at the level of the road

Clayton Conn

Photographer Clayton Conn took these photos of the City of Mexico, his home since 2009.

His district is in the Portales, in the municipality of Benito Juárez has suffered severely Tuesday, the earthquake, the most deadly tremor to hit Mexico in a generation.

“The area where I live has been hit pretty hard, so a lot of people a lot of my neighbours are destroyed.”

This image shows the building two doors down from his apartment. It originally had five floors.

“The last two floors were completely collapsed,” he says. “The neighbors said that there are people still inside. But the building was still sort of… standing… From what I understand, the people are still there. And the neighbors, who could not touch the building. They fear that it will continue to crumble”.

Mr. Conn was out with his girlfriend, when the earthquake hit at 13:14 local time (18:14 GMT).

“I had my camera with me,” he explains, “so we spent the day in the streets of the document, and also trying to go back home.”

Clayton Conn

Clayton Conn

Clayton Conn

A couple of blocks away, he saw a crowd of people, looking at the rubble of another building, an eight-or 10-storey complex of apartments.

Neighbors wearing bicycle helmets for protection, had joined the rescue effort alongside the police and relief workers.

“When I felt as if there was a sign of someone, or thought of movement, or that someone might be trapped, they would raise the fists – and this is the signal.

“In such a way that all of them – a crowd of a thousand people – immediately raise their fists, and there is almost complete silence. You can only hear the generators from the vehicle that we brought to light shine. You couldn’t hear a thing. In that silence, you can try to communicate with someone who is trapped under.”

Clayton Conn

Clayton Conn

“A lot of people do not understand the extent of the damage, so that the people were a sort of joke in parks and other areas where you are supposed to gather when this occurs, to be safe.

“Once people began to realize that this was much more serious than perhaps a small earthquake, because in Mexico City we feel earthquakes very often – for some who are strong… A lot of people were in a state of shock, but a lot of people, their reactions were very encouraging.

“People were grabbing stuff from their homes, their offices, and only the mobilization of the self.

“Within 20 minutes of the earthquake I was seeing people who looked like office workers carrying picks and shovels – I have no idea where they put them!

“A lot of people who wear their button up shirts and pants, and a lot of younger people, the artists, the types of students, running around with their shovels.”

Clayton Conn

Clayton Conn

“The authorities were not able to immediately participate in all of the places that were affected, all of the buildings. There are not enough rescue teams. So there was a degree of shock and nervousness, but also that sense of empathy that was really strong.

“People were handing out food… it was a really hot day.

“I saw only a woman who has started crying. I’ve seen a lot of people with sad faces, but also faces that were not completely overwhelmed.

Clayton Conn

Clayton Conn

The new earthquake that struck the 32nd anniversary of a magnitude 8 earthquake that has killed up to 10,000 people, and left 30,000 injured.

1985 tremor caused severe damage in Mexico City and the surrounding area, with more than 400 buildings collapsed and thousands more damaged.

Each year, the authority to carry out earthquake drills as part of the commemoration. The photographer says that they have been taken from 40 minutes to an hour before the real-life emergency.

“There is an alarm that goes off – an earthquake alarm. It is quite effective. Gives you, typically, about 40 seconds to a minute heads-up…

“You hear this dramatic alarm and leave the building. But yesterday, when the earthquake hit], the alarm does not switch off immediately – they shut off half way through the earthquake.

“That could have taken a lot of people off guard.”

This image shows troops of the Mexican military, who mobilise in response to natural disasters – whether it is a hurricane or an earthquake.

The yellow bracelet means that you are responding to an event, and providing aid to possible victims.

Clayton Conn

All images protected by copyright.