The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times

MEXICO CITY — A powerful earthquake jolted a wide section of southern Mexico and Central America early Monday, killing at least four people and damaging dozens of buildings in Guatemala.

The 6.9 quake was felt as far north as Mexico City, through central Guatemala and as far south as El Salvador. Its epicenter was on the Pacific Coast of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, near a border town called Puerto Madero, about 40 miles below the surface, the U.S. Geological Survey said on its website. It hit at 6:23 a.m. local time.

Most damage was reported in the Guatemalan state of San Marcos, where walls collapsed and electrical power was temporarily cut. Numerous landslides were also reported.

Two people were crushed to death in San Marcos and at least 21 injured, the Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre reported. Another Guatemalan died of a heart attack, and a fourth person, identified as Jose Molina, was killed in Chiapas, authorities said.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina later spoke of a possible fifth death — a newborn crushed by a falling ceiling. Further details were not immediately available.

In a national address, Perez Molina said 36 people were evacuated from badly damaged homes in western Guatemala, and 44 schools reported varying degrees of destruction. One major highway from the city of Quetzaltenango was completely blocked by a landslide, and water systems in San Marcos were cut off when pipes fractured, he said.

In Chiapas, people ran from their homes in panic, but only minor damages were reported, Luis Manuel Garcia, a senior safety official, said. School classes were suspended at least for the day in some Chiapan towns.

Guatemalan Education Minister Cynthia del Aguila also suspended classes in the western half of her country.

The affected region of southern Mexico is known for seismic activity, with several quakes in the high 6 or low 7 magnitude registered in the last year.

Monday’s temblor was initially clocked at 7.1 but later lowered to 6.9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Several lesser aftershocks were recorded, but no tsunami alert was issued.

The volunteer San Marcos Fire Department noted serious cracks and fallen walls in around 30 homes and buildings as well as toppled utility poles. Photos on social media showed one entire block of homes had shifted off of their foundations.

No damage or injuries were reported in the sprawling capital of Mexico City, parts of which were devastated in a 1985 quake.

MCT Photo

Interested in world news? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}