Mexican Rescue Team Develops Earthquake Survival Device

A leading Mexican Earthquake Search and Rescue team, named Topos de Tlatelolco, developed a device that is designed to both improve the survival rate of someone trapped in rubble in the wake of an earthquake as well as help rescuers locate the trapped person(s). The release of the device, which is being called the Topos Good-Luck Charm, could not have been released at a more opportune time as a 7+ magnitude earthquake struck large parts of Mexico just last Friday. The Earthquake subsequently yielded more than 200 aftershocks which have, in all, caused millions of dollars in damage.

The Topos de Tlatelolco first gained fame after an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck Mexico in mid-September, 1985. After the earthquake leveled buildings in Mexico City, killing more than 10,000 people, a group of locals banded together and began taking rescue missions upon themselves as the government was wildly inefficient and ineffective in their efforts to rescue the trapped. The Topos’ role in rescuing people in the days following the 1985 earthquake gained wild media attention. The group of rescuers have since provided help in similar disaster situations throughout the Americas and Asia, gaining a lot of respect and admiration along the way.

The Topos Good-Luck Charm has four major components which its designers claim to improve a trapped person’s chances of survival. The first aspect of the Good-Luck charm is a flashlight which Topos says extends the survival time of a trapped person significantly. The device is also equipped with a metallic plate capable of reflecting sonar signals back to rescue teams and a text message function which is designed to send out a trapped person’s exact location to rescue teams via a text message. The last function of the Topos Good-Luck Charm comes in the form of a heart-shaped button which has a pre-recorded message of encouragement from an actual survivor of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.

The device will hopefully enable future victims of earthquakes to drastically improve their rates of survival regardless of how dire a situation they may be in. The Good-Luck charm can be bought by providing a donation of at least $75 which will go directly to the training of rescue teams from around the world. The device was only released on Monday and is still far from mainstream, but with last Friday’s earthquake fresh in the minds of many it will likely catch on quickly.