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Mexico Quake Leaves Thousands Homeless 09/24 12:51

   MEXICO CITY (AP) -- As the search continued Sunday for survivors and the 
bodies of people who died in quake-collapsed buildings in Mexico, thousands of 
people have been left homeless because their houses or apartment buildings are 
uninhabitable.

   Specialists have fanned out to inspect buildings and determine which are 
unsafe after Tuesday's magnitude 7.1 earthquake, which has killed at least 319. 
Civil Defense chief Luis Felipe Puente reported the new death toll on Twitter 
and said 181 of the deaths came in the capital.

   Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera reported that 7,649 properties have 
been examined and 87 percent of those are safe and require only minor repairs. 
But that means about 1,000 left standing have been determined to be 
uninhabitable --- and the number seemed likely to rise as more are inspected.

   Mancera also said Saturday night on Twitter that nearly 17,000 people have 
been "attended to" at 48 shelters, though it's not clear how many of those are 
being housed there. Many are bunking with family or friends.

   Families have been camped out for days at the site of collapsed apartment 
and office buildings awaiting word on missing loved ones and holding out hope 
they may still be found alive.

   Inspectors were also evaluating the safety of schools and planned to begin 
getting kids back in classrooms after nearly a week away. The government said 
it would soon release information about which schools have been cleared to 
reopen Monday.

   Search and rescue crews have pulled dozens of lifeless bodies from the 
wreckage of buildings --- and numerous survivors, too. Mexico's marines, 
considered the nation's most elite troops, said they have recovered 102 bodies 
and rescued 115 people in the aftermath.

   Many of those survivors are now in hospitals with injuries ranging from 
fractures and bruises to severe brain injuries. Many face an uncertain future.

   In a hospital room blocks away from where he survived 26 hours buried under 
the rubble of his nine-story apartment building, Jose Luis Ponce lay sedated 
and on a respirator Saturday, alive but with fractures to multiple bones and 
damage to his lungs and a kidney.

   "You said you would be with me always," his daughter, Claudia Ponce, 30, 
told him. "Now is not the moment to leave."


(KA)

 
 
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