The 1985 Mexico City earthquake, a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that struck Mexico City on the early morning of 19 September 1985 at around 7:19 AM, caused the deaths of at least 10,000 people and serious damage to the greater Mexico City Area.
The area most severely hit by the earthquake had the highest concentration of hospitals. Most of the damages occurred in secondary and tertiary hospitals. Thirteen hospitals of six or more floors were partially or totally destroyed, most of these public institutions. One out of every four then-available beds were lost. The National Medical Center of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) was considered the most important hospital complex in Latin America with over 2,300 beds and the largest medical library in the country. It had to be evacuated because all of its 25 buildings suffered severe damage. Most of the beds that it lost were dedicated to tertiary, high-technology care. The ISSSTE hospital for government workers lost 36 percent of its capacity. The 2,158 beds of the Ministry of Health (SSA) were lost, representing 43 percent of its capacity in the city. This included the 700 beds lost with the complete collapse of Juárez Hospital and the gynecology-obstetrics tower of the General Hospital of Mexico. In total, the city lost more than 4,000 public hospital beds in the earthquake, severely disrupting these institutions’ ability to handle the crisis. In addition, five of the largest private hospitals had to be evacuated. More than 900 patients, physicians, nurses and paramedical workers died in the initial shock. Many people had died in the earthquake, they were desperate, and after the earthquake there was a great disaster, other countries sent to mexico medicine and food. This was one of the greatest natural disasters in world history.