Mexican Consul General Claudia Franco Hijuelos thanked Arizonans for their sympathy and support following Tuesday's destructive earthquake in Mexico City, and offered methods to help victims.
"We’ve received numerous tokens of concern and queries," Hijuelos said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. "Just normal people in Arizona — we've been getting emails and expressions of condolences, and we appreciate them very much."
The magnitude 7.1 earthquake, which came on the anniversary of an even deadlier 1985 earthquake in the same region, caused serious destruction in the city and other regions, and left more than 220 people dead.
Hijuelos said that authorities don't have a good sense of the full impact of the disaster. News reports from Mexico on Wednesday afternoon showed that rescuers were still in the early stages of going through rubble piles to look for trapped people and bodies.
"Given the population density in Mexico City and the extent of the damage, the death count may unfortunately rise," Hijuelos said. "Structures are still being reviewed."
Officials were urging the people of Mexico City to stay home to avoid becoming victims amid the damage, and to call aid offices in Mexico only for emergencies.
The consulate in Phoenix was doing what it could to help people contact family members and others in the devastated areas, she said.
Hijuelos added that she could not provide an exact count of the inquiries her office had received, but that number wasn't overwhelming because most Mexicans in Phoenix are from northern Mexico, which wasn't affected.
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She thanked Governor Doug Ducey and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, "who were kind enough to offer words of comfort after the tragedy."
The consulate provided a list of phone numbers and contact info for emergency offices in various states of Mexico, which can be accessed in PDF form by clicking here.
Arizonans who want to make donations are asked to do so through the Mexican Red Cross donation site.
The Red Cross is also providing assistance for local people who want to contact loved ones and others in Mexico.