Wed. Oct 5th, 2022

Written by Cristina Sanchez Reyes

Mexico City, September 19 (EFE).- The wounds left by the September 19 earthquake that hit Mexico City in 2017 are still open five years later, as even more than 23% of the victims do not have homes and those who rebuilt, condemn the uncertainty.

“We are five years after the earthquake of September 19 and it may be a date on the calendar like other earthquakes, but that date has become a wound for Mexico City that has not healed because there are thousands of families that we have not been able to reach. .to see that they are coming home,” Francia Gutierrez, a victim of Talpan multifamily, tells Ife

France was one of more than 20,000 people who saw their heritage and belongings reduced to rubble that day, as the building that housed their apartment collapsed and had to be completely rebuilt.

Little by little, he says, they’ve tried to rebuild their community and go through a grieving process “that hasn’t been resolved.”

He assured that the victims survived this permanent grief as they put aside their pain to rebuild their homes and fight for the authorities to help the victims.

“Now we’re at a stage of living in our homes, but also knowing how they’re built into facilities,” he says

Unfinished reconstruction

Israel Ballesteros is another resident of the multi-family complex south of the Mexican capital and is also part of Mexico City’s United Victims group, which unites hundreds of people who have yet to receive compensation for their losses.

He denounced that the authorities were not very transparent and manipulated the reconstruction data, since the most up-to-date statistics claim that they have reconstructed 77% of the houses.

Israel Ballesteros, victim of the September 19, 2017 earthquake, speaks during an interview with Efe in Mexico City (Mexico) yesterday. EFE/Isaac Esquivel

“This is false information,” he said, explaining that the capital’s official website itself recognizes more than 22,000 houses affected by the earthquake and that 12,700 have been restored so far.

“That means, with a simple rule of three, the actual progress they’re reporting is only 57%,” he argues.

Also, he says, there is more misinformation, such as in Talpan Multifamily, where authorities claim 520 houses have been handed over, when there are only 500, adding that they have almost halved the number of properties. recognized as affected.

“(So) there are many who don’t even have the possibility of getting their homes back,” he lamented, as he assured that many families were left off the register.

Recovery from injury

On September 19, 2017, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit the center of the country, including Puebla and Morelos, killing about 370 people, 228 of them in Mexico City.

The emotional impact was even greater because on that same date, but in 1985, an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 occurred, killing more than 20,000 people, mostly in the Mexican capital, which is why it is considered the most destructive in recent history. from mexico

Francia Gutiérrez said she was lucky to have her roof restored for her stay, but confirmed that her property has more problems today than before the earthquake due to increased costs for reconstruction and “hidden defects”.

Francia Gutierrez, a victim of the September 19, 2017 earthquake, poses in front of a housing complex yesterday in Mexico City, Mexico. EFE/Isaac Esquivel

Among them, he said, were cisterns with retrofitted parts, which caused them to break two years after rebuilding, water heaters incompatible with solar heaters and poor quality materials in buildings, which meant cost overruns. .

“We have to do it (the payment) knowing that the person who should have done it properly didn’t do it and somebody has to authorize that company to increase this cost for this bad benefit,” he said.

In addition to this, Ballesteros confirmed that the victims were subjected to contempt by the authorities, which hindered their emotional recovery.

“You never really leave that state (of pain), there’s no time to grieve, no time to recover, no room for the resilience that’s become so fashionable after that,” he says.

Both regret that nothing seems to have been learned after this tragedy.

“The present government’s policy of preventing such emergencies has been the same for 37 years, every September 19 now at 12:19 PM (5:19 PM GMT) to hold a drill and maintain real estate corruption, real estate capital advantage, Without taking any other preventive measures”, he criticized.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday remembered the victims of the 1985 and 2017 earthquakes in a ceremony that included a flag-raising ceremony in front of the National Palace, where he promised that his government had acted to prevent it.

Edited by Juan David Moso

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