50 years have passed since the earthquake that left more than 500 dead in Orizaba, Veracruz  


XALAPA, VER.- This Monday, August 28, marks the 50th anniversary of “The Great Orizaba Earthquake”, one of the most important earthquakes in the history of Mexico. This event left more than 500 people dead in the central region of the state of Veracruz. 

It was around 3:45 a.m. on that Tuesday, August 28, 1973, when the 7.3 degree telluric movement, which lasted about 2 minutes, left damage mainly in Orizaba, Río Blanco, Córdoba and Ciudad Serdán in Puebla, where hundreds of homes and buildings turned to dust. 

According to official data from the National Center for Disaster Prevention (CONAPRED), the 7.3 magnitude earthquake left 539 victims in Orizaba who died under the rubble of buildings that fell that morning. 

The total number of fatalities amounts to 1,200 people, as homes in the surroundings of the now Magic Town of Veracruz, such as Río Blanco, Córdoba, Nogales, Zongolica, Ixtaczoquitlán, Río Blanco and Ciudad Serdán, Puebla, also suffered damage. 50 years after this earthquake, it is not ruled out that more than 2,000 people died, mostly while they slept that morning. 

Schools, churches, old houses and well-known buildings from that time collapsed two minutes after the shaking stopped. Records from that time indicate that volunteers and authorities worked several days to remove the bodies from the rubble. 

The Veracruz seismograph managed to register a magnitude of up to 8.5, which would place it as the second most intense tremor in the history of Mexico and the largest in the 20th century, due to this intensity, some other states could perceive this movement as minimal intensity . 

These were some of the Orizaba buildings collapsed by the 1973 earthquake 

     La Packard: It was a very emblematic building of that time in which there were 35 apartments, it had three levels and the ground floor was the parking lot. At the time of the earthquake, they were the most luxurious condominiums in Orizaba. 

According to the data, the building collapsed with at least 15 people still inside, and during two days of rescue they were able to get at least 7 people out alive. 

     Old Bullring: Located on what is now Avenida Oriente 6, it was the first bullring in the region of the High Mountains of Veracruz, which was founded in 1925. 

Although nothing happened at the time of the first strong movement, it was a strong aftershock that ended up collapsing the Plaza. There were no fatalities at this location. 

     C.E.O.: The Centro Educativo Obrero (C.E.O.) formerly located in the facilities of the now municipal palace, at least two floors of the building collapsed. Due to the time this earthquake was recorded, there were no fatalities. 

     Civil Hospital: Where it is currently the State Art Museum, it was the regional hospital at that time, which left 70 people dead. The building suffered severe damage inside, leaving only the façade standing. 

 Source: La Silla Rota