Images of solidarity and rescue of the earthquake that struck Mexico City on Sept. 19 has been making the rounds. The magnitude 7.1 quake left the central part of the country damaged, including the capital, which is one of the ten largest megacities in the world.
On the streets, volunteers joined rescue workers to help save victims and find survivors in the rubble. But in order to go ahead with the rescuing procedure, it's important to be quiet.
Why are people asking for silence in Mexico?
Believe it or not, silence is one of the most important things for a rescue team.
"Every once in a while authorities ask for silence so they can hear the people who are still trapped. It’s amazing what people are doing for others – but some people are clearly still in complete shock.”, said Hanna Monsivais, Coordinator of Save the Children Mexico.
“People have shown enormous solidarity. Volunteers are bringing water, food, clothes, and face masks, so that they can help the official authorities move all the debris and rocks, because there are still people trapped under buildings."
In addition to keeping an ear out for victims, authorities also use technologies that can hear very low noises in the debris, such as breathing whispers.
In the earthquake that occurred in Haiti in 2010, for example, professional sound-capture equipment such as microwave sensors and amplifiers with ambient sound filter were used to listen out for survivors.
These devices also need as much silence as possible so that the survivors can be located.
People also ask for silence by raising their hands
Another very common gesture seen in the photos of the aftermath is people raising their fists. This also serves as a code asking people to lower their voices for the victims to be heard.
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