The UBC Mexican Student Association acted quickly after news broke that a 7.1 magnitude earthquake had hit Mexico City on Tuesday, claiming at least 225 lives.

The student group is encouraging people to make donations to relief organizations like the Red Cross. They're also accepting in-person cash donations.

Nagib Gobera, who studies international economics at UBC, said he was devastated when he first heard the news.

"I was about to cry because I saw all the videos and all the posts, and, at the beginning, I didn't know if my friends were involved or if any one of my family members were affected," he said.

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The student group is mobilizing to encourage donations to relief organizations such as the Red Cross. They're also accepting cash donations. (Meera Bains/CBC)

Jimena Salinas said the majority of her family lives in Mexico City.

​"It's been a time of worrying about family — thankfully everyone is fine. It's just a matter of [figuring out] from here, from Vancouver, what's the best way to help those who are in Mexico," she said.

The pair said other student associations and clubs have approached them to ask how they can help. They quickly began researching the best ways to contribute to the relief efforts.

"The advice that we gave was to visit the Amazon and Red Cross websites. You can now buy single items and those are given directly, so it's an efficient way to help," said Salinas.

"It's a hard moment for the country," she said. "But Mexico has a culture of implementing mock earthquake drills and that has been significant."

With files from Meera Bains