International News in Brief
MEXICO CITY — A 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City on Sept. 19, the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that occurred in the the same country and killed 10,000 people. More than 40 buildings collapsed and 273 people were killed. In Mexico City and outlying areas, many homes have been reduced to rubble. More than 2,600 people were injured.
Emergency teams have been endlessly searching through the rubble for survivors. One such case that garnered intense news and social media coverage is the collapse of Rébsamen school, an elementary institution. More than 25 children and four adults were confirmed dead, and 30 were declared missing. A couple days later, Navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said there is no missing child at the collapsed school, stating that all of the children are either dead, in hospitals, or safe in their homes.
PUERTO RICO — Hurricane Maria continues to throw chaos and devastation to the small American territory, flooding some areas completely and threatening catastrophic damage to the mountainous areas. It is the fifth-largest storm to ever hit the U.S. The devastation of the area has been amplified because of Hurricane Irma, which struck the island only two weeks ago, and left four dead and 70 percent of residents without power. Hurricane Maria has entirely destroyed the territory’s power grid system, and rendered more than three million residents out of electricity.
Though storms often provide a host of inclement weather, Maria’s is particularly bad. The storm has given a record rainfall for the region, with reports of up to 30 inches of rain. Flash food emergencies pervade throughout Puerto Rico, and because Maria has been traveling extremely slow, more rain is being dumped than usual. The terrain, hilly and mountainous, creates the problem of water pooling, which exacerbates the damage in the affected areas. Hurricane Maria continues to travel directly through the land.
WASHINGTON D.C. — Trump made a new executive order targeting North Korea, widening its sanctions in an attempt to choke off its major industries like shipping. This move is described as one of “the most sweeping set of punitive economic measures enacted by the United States in many years.” Trump has made this action as a definitive move to weaken the country through economic sanctions rather than military actions, despite declaring in his speech at the United Nations (UN) the intent to “totally destroy North Korea.”
The restrictions are not only U.S.-centric. China has also recently implemented similar actions, such as instructing the country’s banks not to do new business with North Korea and to wind down old loans, abiding by UN sanctions. Some praised Trump for taking a route of diplomatic pressure rather than overt rattling of military mobilization.