When disaster strikes in the world, the IDF (Zahal) is there to lend a hand, regardless of the distance. Here is where it all began.

On September 19, 1985, Mexico City experienced its strongest earthquake to date. The earthquake affected almost all of Mexico and beyond, reaching as far as Houston, Texas. The capital, Mexico City, was hit the hardest.

The story of IDF’s first humanitarian rescue mission: Mexico

Credit to the IDF (Zahal) Archive

The Aftermath

The impact of the earthquake was catastrophic. More than 100,000 buildings were seriously damaged. Over 150 buildings were completely demolished. 150,000 people lost their jobs, 250,000 people lost their homes, and 10,000 people lost their lives. In addition, the water system was polluted resulting in a lack of fresh drinking water. The aftermath proved to be the worst in Mexico’s history.

The story of IDF’s first humanitarian rescue mission: Mexico

Credit to the IDF (Zahal) Archive

Humanitarian Aid

A few days after the earthquake, the IDF (Zahal) sent a well prepared rescue team to Mexico to aid in the relief. The Search and Rescue Unit delegation included 22 doctors who brought tons of humanitarian supplies and medical equipment. Upon arrival, our soldiers worked for 40 consecutive hours. Approximately 3,500 people were extricated from the debris, even 10 days after the hit.

The story of IDF’s first humanitarian rescue mission: Mexico

Credit to the IDF (Zahal) Archive

Since then, the IDF (Zahal)’s Home Front Command has sent 21 delegations to 15 different countries. The IDF (Zahal) is committed to saving and protecting the lives of the citizens of Israel and of victims around the world.