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Debris Removal Slows Quake Reconstruction in Chiapas

November 2, 2017

Peña Nieto looks at one of the 60,000 homes damaged in Chiapas that, along with Oaxaca, took the brunt of the 8.2-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast of the southern state on September 7, 2017.

Chiapas, Mexico - During Monday's visit to the coastal community of Bahía de Paredón in the municipality of Tonalá, Chiapas, President Enrique Peña Nieto said that rebuilding after the September 7 earthquake is going to take longer than predicted.

He said that getting machinery for the removal of the massive amounts of rubble and cleaning up the land both Chiapas and Oaxaca took longer than expected and had slowed the process down considerably, so he couldn't guarantee that reconstruction efforts would be finished by year's end.

He added that the communities themselves had collaborated for the removal of the debris and that there are currently 400 machines working to clear the land for reconstruction. "I believe that in two months we will be very advanced, but I can't guarantee that we'll have all houses rebuilt," he said.

Sixty thousand homes were damaged in the southern state that, along with Oaxaca, took the brunt of the 8.2-magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was off the Chiapas coast. Nine thousand of the houses either collapsed completely or sustained irreparable damage.

While there, Peña Nieto handed over the keys to the owners of the first new houses in the community that were built with funds provided by the Natural Disaster Fund (Fonden). Once a property had been cleared of debris, he said, a new home could be built in as few as 11 days.

Accompanied by Chiapas State Governor Manuel Velasco and Education Secretary Aurelio Nuño, Peña Nieto also assured residents that all of the schools that were demolished by the quake would be reconstructed, and that the town would have a new medical clinic within four months.

Several other parts of the country are also undergoing reconstruction in the wake of the two devastating earthquakes that struck in September.

More than 7,000 homes required demolition in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec town of Juchitán alone after the September 7 quake, while rebuilding and repairs to buildings damaged during the September 19 temblor in central states including Morelos, Puebla, Mexico City will likely take several months, along with billions of pesos.

Sources: MilenioMexico News Daily