Dispatches From CDMX: Rescue Efforts Wind Down

A San Francisco journalist who's been in Mexico City reports that rumors are beginning to worsen morale — and water is in short supply in neighborhoods that need it most.

It’s been nine days since the Sep. 19 earthquake and the city is still reeling from the destruction. Popocatépetl belched a few days ago, but authorities want to remind everyone he’s been doing this pretty regularly lately.

Rescue operations have ceased at the site of the collapsed office building at 286 Alvaro Obregon in Colonia Roma Norte, one block away from the relief center at Parque España.  Though the crowds at the relief center have diminished, but until Tuesday, those around the rescue operation had not, as family and friends wait in vigil and lessening hope for loved ones still buried inside. Heat sensors and theories of air pockets keep people going, but the atmosphere is grim and filled with fatigue. Calls have gone out today for more hygienic supplies — as well as coffee, energy drinks, Coke, and chocolate to keep the rescuers awake, and blankets for the families gathered outside in tents for the past week even during heavy rains.

(Stephen Torres)

In the background of the Parque España relief center looms the structurally debilitated Plaza Condesa, which is among 3,000 buildings either on the verge or close to collapse all over the city.

All over the capital, on the anniversary of the Ayotzinapa 43, the anger and frustration towards the government continues to mount as reports continue to detail a lack of support and no increase in water in some of the poorest and hardest-hit parts of the city, such as Xochimilco and Iztapalapa in the south. Rumors of worsening situations aren’t helping the morale.  

(Stephen Torres)

In the spirit of 1985, however, people are not waiting for the government to step in. Those with access to networks and resources are organizing for these areas, such as that by local art galleries BWSMX and  MARSO.

Rumors hamper rescue efforts. Many civilian organizers caution against buying them and trying to confirm as best one can. One solid resource for verification is this Twitter account.

(Stephen Torres)

Despite all of this, walking among the centros de acopio, spirits are upbeat and focused. One, the Huerto Verde Roma, feels like a well-oiled machine.  Run by mostly the city’s youth, they kept the lights on, food going out, trash removed, and people warm all through last night’s rainstorm. Need at the Huerto Verde is ongoing, and if you are local it is possible to register online instead of dropping by to avoid going when volunteers are ample.

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