Mexico City Earthquake Damages Thousands of Buildings, Churches

Volunteers and first responders look for survivors in a collapsed building after an earthquake struck Mexico City
Volunteers and first responders look for survivors in a collapsed building after an earthquake struck Mexico City. // Photo by AP Photo/Pablo Ramos via Newscred

Another aftershock shook Mexico Sunday as officials continue to assess the impact of last weeks devastating earthquake in Mexico City.

Reuters reports that the death toll from the 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which struck last Tuesday, has climbed to 320 people. Survivors are continuing to need to sleep on the street outside their homes, and some estimates of the earthquakes cost are running as high as $8 billion.

The September 19 earthquake collapsed 38 buildings in Mexico City and damaged another 3,800, government head Miguel Angel Mancera told Riviera Maya News. Mexicos president is meeting with insurers to negotiate an agreement to help citizens access funds for repairs to their homes.

In an initial review, I can say that the vast majority of buildings exceed the years of 1985, Mancera Espinosa told Riviera Maya News. But we must review the buildings that could be more recent in this classification. I am interested in checking if there are buildings that fell because they do not meet construction standards, but practically all the affected buildings, which are 38, were buildings prior to that year. 1985 was the date of the last major earthquake to strike Mexico City.

According to The Washington Post, the earthquake damaged many of Mexicos historic churches. The Our Lady of Angels Church in Mexico City had its cupola split, with half crashing to the floor, after Sundays aftershock. In all, over 150 religious structures suffered damage, mostly in Puebla, where the earthquake was centered.

Late last week the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) reported that, despite the damage from the earthquake, Mexicos tourist attractions remain open and functioning. Mexico Citys airport reopened within four hours after the earthquake struck, although many airlines are still offering travel waivers.

American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta customers flying through Mexico City through September 26 can rebook through September 30. Customers flying Southwest Airlines through Mexico City through September 26 can rebook in the original class of service or travel standby within 14 days of their original date of travel between the same city pair.

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