Mexico Still Has Much Rebuilding to Do From 2017 Quake - NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Mexico Still Has Much Rebuilding to Do From 2017 Quake

Nationwide, Mexico has rebuilt less than half the homes damaged or destroyed in 2017 by the magnitude 7.1 Sept. 19 earthquake and a magnitude 8.1 temblor on Sept. 7

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    Mexico Still Has Much Rebuilding to Do From 2017 Quake
    Rafael S. Fabres/Getty Images, File
    In this Sept. 19, 2017, file photo, rescuers work in the rubble after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City, Mexico. The earthquake caused multiple fatalities, destroyed buildings and knocked out power throughout the capital.

    Mexico marked the Sept. 19 anniversaries of 2017 earthquakes that killed more than 500 people and a devastating 1985 temblor that left at least 9,500 dead.

    President Andrés Manuel López Obrador presided over a ceremony Thursday in which the flag was raised to half-staff in memory of the victims.

    While Mexico City has earthquake alarms and regular evacuation drills, the city remains far from ready: 26 people were injured from sprains, panic attacks or fainting spells during Thursday's drills.

    Meanwhile, the alarms give only about 50 seconds warning of quakes, most of which are centered on the Pacific coast, and thousands of buildings and houses damaged in the 2017 quake have yet to be reinforced or rebuilt.

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    Nationwide, Mexico has rebuilt less than half the homes damaged or destroyed in 2017 by the magnitude 7.1 Sept. 19 earthquake and a magnitude 8.1 temblor on Sept. 7.

    David Cervantes of the government housing and zoning office said that by the end of 2019, reconstruction efforts will have reached 41% of the estimated 200,000 homes affected by the quakes.

    Progress has been quicker at public facilities like schools and hospitals, where about two-thirds of damages have been repaired or reconstructed.

    "We think that next year we can conclude the bulk of the reconstruction process," Cervantes said.

    He said some buildings, like old churches, might take longer, because their reconstruction process is often more complex.

    The National Institute of History and Anthropology, which is responsible for historic sites, acknowledged the task was monumental.

    Mexico Earthquake Interrupts Anniversary Interview of 1985 Quake Victim

    [NATL-DFW] Mexico City Earthquake Interrupts 1985 Quake Anniversary Interview

    Telemundo 39 reporter Norma Garcia was in Mexico City Tuesday interviewing a survivor of the catastrophic 1985 earthquake, where at least 5,000 people die, on its anniversary when a 7.1 magnitude temblor rocked the capital city.

    Towards the end of the interview, the siren of a seismic alert began to ring.

    Garcia, photographer Daniel Manrique and the woman being interviewed, Susana Irma Laguna Aburto, struggled to remain on their feet as they tried to move from the garden where they were shooting to a safer area.

    In Manrique's video, buildings can be seen moving, power lines swaying and cars jolting from side to side.

    None of the people in the video were injured in the quake.

    (Published Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017)

    "This is not work that you can do rapidly, given the kind of legacy buildings we are restoring with original materials and construction techniques," said Diego Prieto, the director of the Institute.

    The Institute said it had completed work on 990 historic structures that were damaged, but that 1,350 still await restoration. That is a completion rate of about 42%. At some colonial-era churches experts are grappling with whether to restore some heavily damaged walls and vaults, or tear them down and rebuild them.