I’m saddened to see the awful news from Mexico, where a 7.1 magnitude earthquake has killed at least 250 people. I am thankful our Virgin Mobile Mexico team are all safe. I have had the pleasure of visiting the team in their office (which is being assessed by engineers in case of structural damage). They are a uniquely vibrant and positive team and I’m sure they will be doing all they can to help their wonderful country recover from this tragedy.
Virgin Mobile has been offering free voice and data for all their subscribers in Mexico City since the earthquake, along with our mobile network operator partner Telefonica. Virgin Unite is donating to the Mexican Red Cross and our team are in touch with Virgin Mobile Mexico on the ground. Steve Logue, Virgin Mobile Mexico’s General Manager, shared a video taken right down the street from his house. It is terrifying footage, and our thoughts are with everyone affected by the disaster.
It is also so sad to see the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and elsewhere. Our thoughts are with the wonderful people of Puerto Rico, who have so selflessly helped the British Virgin Islands in our recovery efforts after Hurricane Irma. It is incredible how the people affected by these tragedies have come together. I've been highlighting the incredible spirit of the BVI and the Caribbean, and have also been moved hearing about people in Mexico City working around the clock to dig victims from the rubble of buildings.
On a more positive note, it is heartening to know the BVI was spared the worst of Hurricane Maria, so soon after a devastating direct hit from Hurricane Irma. Our team on the ground are all ok, and aid efforts to support the local community are continuing.
Looking forward, these tragic disasters highlights the enormous opportunity to build resilience into community planning, so these natural disasters can be better withstood. The good news is that all the innovations are there to make new buildings earthquake safe, to rebuild utilities and to build homes that can withstand hurricane winds.
As Mother Nature is so clearly telling us, the time to act is now – as these disasters are not going to go away.