Search teams are still digging in dangerous piles of rubble hoping against the odds to find survivors at collapsed buildings, while officials say they have so far cleared only 103 of Mexico City’s nearly 9,000 schools to reopen Monday.
The need to inspect 98 per cent of the capital’s public and private schools nearly a week after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake killed at least 182 people in the city and 138 in nearby states was a stark indicator of just how long the path back to normalcy will be.
Federal Education Secretary Aurelio Nuno said Sunday that it could take a couple more weeks to inspect all of the schools. As school inspections progress, the government will announce each day which schools have been cleared to resume classes. For schools found to have structural damage, students could be put in temporary classrooms.
“For the safety of the boys, the girls, the teachers and for the peace of mind, of course, of all the fathers and all the mothers, all schools will be inspected,” Nuno said.
Active rescue operations
Rescue operations remained active in at least three sites in Mexico City — two apartment buildings and an office building — but hope dimmed every time rescuers had to retreat due to instability of debris. But no one has been found alive since Wednesday, when a woman was pulled from debris.
As darkness fell Sunday, prayers were held by families who have been gathered near the collapsed office hoping missing relatives will be found. A crowd of onlookers watching swelled, and so did the number of volunteer workers. Teachers at one corner tried to entertain children of some of the waiting families. There also appeared to be more people offering psychological support.
Hugo Luna, whose cousin Erika Gabriela Albarran was believed trapped in the fallen building, complained that officials had not immediately informed families when two bodies were removed Saturday night. “There is a lot of distrust of authorities,” he said.
His aunt, who was also inside the building when the quake hit but escaped, is traumatized, he said.
Emotional roller coaster
“Nothing happened to her, but now she has panic attacks,” Luna said. “You open the door, she hears a noise and she gets scared.”
For the family of Adrian Moreno, a missing…