Thousands of homes in this city were severely damaged. Half of the 19th-century city hall, with its 30 arches, collapsed. The main hospital here was so devastated that staff members evacuated patients to an empty lot and worked by the light of their cellphones.
By the time the earthquake’s tremors finally faded, at least 36 people in Juchitán de Zaragoza were dead.
“It’s a truly critical situation,” Óscar Cruz López, the city’s municipal secretary, said Friday. “The city,” he said, and then paused. “It’s as if it had been bombed.”