MEXICO CITY, Sept. 22 (Korea Bizwire) — With a series of powerful earthquakes hitting Mexico and leaving hundreds of people dead, the Korean business community in the country is beginning to feel the negative impact of the devastating natural disasters.
Though Mexico City, which was been rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake, is slowly recovering from the damage caused by the worst natural disaster in the last 32 years, some South Korean business owners in the region are still worried that the devastating effects of the earthquake could continue on, dampening business confidence.
Jo, who owns a Korean restaurant in Zona Rosa, an area known as the Mexican capital’s Koreatown with many Korean restaurants, says the building in which his restaurant is located has been severely damaged.
“While technicians who visited the site have said nothing is wrong with the building, we don’t know how long it will take to repair the damaged ceiling, for instance. As we have many reservations, we are worried,” Jo said with a sigh.
Shin, who owns a shop in the Centro neighborhood in Mexico City, which is home to many Korean-owned shops, says customers haven’t been visiting the area due to the recent earthquakes .
“While we didn’t experience direct damage as a result of the powerful earthquakes, customers haven’t been coming to the neighborhood. The economy was already struggling, and it seems the trend will continue for a while,” Shin said worriedly.
Shin also added he has never experienced anything like this year’s earthquake during his 20 years in Mexico, and that his son and grandchildren have now moved out of their apartment to stay with him for the time being for safety’s sake.
Lee, who heads the Mexican unit of a South Korean company, is in a slightly better situation, and is now looking for ways to help those who have suffered from the damages caused by the powerful earthquakes.
“Yesterday, South Korean employees worked from home, but they commuted to the office today along with local workers. Now we are discussing with directors to find ways to help victims of the earthquakes.”
The South Korean Embassy in Mexico is also set to join the likes of Lee in lending a helping hand to the local community by providing disaster relief with the voluntary help of South Korean businesses operating in Mexico and non-governmental organizations.
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)