Local Government Profile
"The Mexico City government recognizes that climate change is now the most serious threat to the planet, with unquestionable socio-economic consequences for the population, and the ecosystems. "
Hazard and vulnerability profile
Located in the centre of the country, Mexico
City lies atop of a high altitude plateau 2,240
metres above sea level. Towering high
above the city’s southeast side are two
active volcanoes: Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl. The surrounding valley, known as the
Valley of Anáhuac, is a lake basin with no natural drainage outlet for the waters that flow
from the mountainsides, making the city vulnerable to flooding. While not on or near any
fault line the City is situated in a very active seismic zone and is extremely vulnerable to
The 1985 earthquake, which measured 8.1 on the Richter scale, caused the deaths of
about 10,000 people and caused serious damage to the Mexican capital; thousands of
buildings were flattened and a quarter of a million people lost their homes. Health facilities
were especially hard hit, with many hospitals and clinics destroyed. Nearly one-fifth of the
schools in the city were destroyed or seriously damaged as well as water, electrical and
Disaster Risk Reduction Activities
To prepare for future disasters, Mexico City installed a public earthquake early warning
system in August 1991 – the Seismic Alert System or Sistema de Alerta Sísmica in
Spanish – that provides alerts through media outlets and Internet applications when an
earthquake is detected. The system is capable of generating warning signals of about 60
seconds when detecting strong earthquakes occurring 280 km away.
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