Jalisco’s Department of Education (SEJ), due in no small part to September’s devastating earthquake’s, has acquired 100 seismic alarms, to be installed in schools around the state’s most earthquake-prone municipalities.
The purchase, which includes installation and maintenance, is costing taxpayers approximately seven million pesos.
While it is still being determined where the devices will end up, SEJ Director Alfonso Gomez Godinez indicated that among the zones most at risk are Ciudad Guzman, La Primavera, Tesistan, and both the Costa Sur and Norte.
The earthquake of September 19 wrecked havoc in Mexico City and elsewhere in central Mexico, resulting in hundreds of deaths and millions in property damage. Especially shocking and tragic was the collapse of Colegio Enrique Rebsamen in the capital, killing 19 school children and seven teachers. The ghastly incident was just one of many which laid bare the farce of the capital’s building codes and regulatory apparatus, reformed following the even more deadly earthquake of 1985. The owner of the building housing the colegio, Maria Garcia Villegas, is currently the object of an Interpol-led manhunt in 190 countries.
While they don’t predict earthquakes in the long term, or eradicate systemic corruption, the alarms do, according to Gomez, give people in buildings a few seconds to act before an earthquake hits, seconds which could be the different between life and death.