With Netanyahu set to visit, Israel dispatches aid to quake-hit Mexico

Assistance to be delivered to hard-struck Oaxaca and Chiapas in coming days, Foreign Ministry says

View of damages after the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico's Pacific coast, in Ixtaltepec, state of Oaxaca on September 9, 2017. (AFP/MARIO VAZQUEZ DE LA TORRE)
View of damages after the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico's Pacific coast, in Ixtaltepec, state of Oaxaca on September 9, 2017. (AFP/MARIO VAZQUEZ DE LA TORRE)

Israel will send aid to earthquake-hit Mexico in the coming days, coinciding with a previously planned visit to the North American country by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Foreign Ministry said Sunday.

The ministry’s center for international cooperation along with the Israeli Embassy in Mexico is to provide aid for the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas that were hardest hit in the deadly quake that struck late Thursday night.

Ambassador to Mexico Yoni Peled and his team will deliver the aid to state governors in the coming days, a statement said.

The statement did not detail what kind of aid was being delivered.

Netanyahu, who also holds the position of foreign minister, is set to leave Sunday evening to visit three Latin American countries. On Wednesday Netanyahu will make his way to Mexico — the world’s second-largest Catholic country — for meetings with President Enrique Pena Nieto and representatives of the local Jewish community.

The day after an 8.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico’s Pacific coast policemen stand next to collapsed buildings in Juchitan de Zaragoza, state of Oaxaca September 9, 2017. (AFP/RONALDO SCHEMIDT)

The 8.1-magnitude quake killed at least 65 people. Officials said 37 people were killed in Juchitan, Oaxaca, the city hit hardest.

More deaths were reported elsewhere in the state, along with people killed Chiapas and Tabasco, while shaking from the temblor was reported in far away Mexico City.

Non-governmental Israeli aid and rescue group iAID said Friday it was preparing to send a team of 12 and high-tech equipment to search for people trapped under rubble.

The country was also hit by a hurricane that made landfall along the Gulf coast late Friday. Authorities say two people were killed by a landslide in Veracruz state. The storm has since dissipated.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a Likud Party rally in Tel Aviv, Israel. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

Netanyahu’s four-day trip to Argentina, Colombia and Mexico marks the first time a sitting Israeli prime minister will go to Latin America.

He will then head to New York, where he will address the United Nations General Assembly, and is expected to meet with US President Donald Trump.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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