World health organization

Making hospitals safe in emergencies: country examples

Two nurses visit the site of a hospital being rebuilt in Mexico
WHO/PAHO/J. Vizcarra


In 1985, a devastating earthquake marked a turning point for disaster preparedness in Mexico. The magnitude 8.1 earthquake killed around 10 000 people and damaged much of its capital Mexico City. Five hospitals collapsed and 22 suffered major damage, leading to almost 6000 beds being lost. Some 560 people died at Juarez Hospital alone. Mexico’s health authorities are now among the region’s strongest proponents of emergency preparedness.

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