“This was my home,” Ms. Flores said. “Just that morning I had eaten breakfast there and made my bed. We went from modest comfort to having not just our homes but our lives in ruins.”
It remains unclear exactly how many buildings in Mexico were damaged by the earthquake last week, or how many people have been forced from their homes.
Federal officials say that the quake on Sept. 19, and one on Sept. 7 that struck mainly the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, damaged at least 155,000 homes, with more than 27,000 destroyed and 19,700 damaged so severely as to be uninhabitable.
In Mexico City, at least 38 buildings collapsed in the quake. The city’s mayor has said about 500 have been deemed “high risk” and would have to be demolished or have major reconstruction before people could return. Most of those buildings are residential.
Public and private efforts to help displaced people with housing and reconstruction needs have begun to take shape. On Tuesday, the authorities in Mexico City announced a plan to provide low-interest loans and other financial assistance to homeowners, depending on their needs and the conditions of their homes. The city has also promised financial assistance for renters.
And in a statement posted on YouTube late Thursday, President Enrique Peña Nieto promised that the government would “directly support families with resources and materials” to repair damage and build new homes, though he offered no further details.
A project called Arriba Mexico has started a website that invites people to “book a symbolic stay in a ruined home and help rebuild Mexico,” with the proceeds going toward relief efforts for victims, including temporary housing. The offers are…