Feature: Warily, quake-rattled Mexico City residents return to work

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-26 09:42:01|Editor: Song Lifang
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by Edna Alcantara

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- Nearly a week after a 7.1-magnitude quake toppled buildings in Mexico City and surrounding states, closing schools and businesses, many residents warily resumed their regular schedules on Monday.

"At some point you have to resume your activities. But the fear is always there, fear and uncertainty about what can happen," resident Ana Luisa Perez Cuevas told Xinhua.

While traffic picked up in the capital as some businesses and a handful of schools reopened, many streets remained closed, cordoned off due to rescue efforts or dangerously inclined buildings awaiting inspection.

Yellow caution tape was a common sight, warning passersby of the potential danger of loose bricks or broken concrete falling from damaged infrastructure.

Perez, 32, distributes fliers for a furniture store while her husband cares for their two children with the help of her father, who lost his job at a factory damaged by the quake.

"My husband stays with the children and I have to go to work; right now its our only income," said Perez.

Arturo Mendez, 39, works in the management department of a bank.

"Today, everything returns to normal. My wife took the kids to school, but like us, many parents were afraid to leave their children," said Mendez, highlighting the fear that aftershocks may knock down more buildings.

The city was like a ghost town for most of last week after Tuesday's quake, which has so far claimed more than 300 lives, more than half of them in Mexico City and the remainder in five surrounding states.

"I want to go back to school, but I'm also afraid the roof could cave in at my school," young Enrique told Xinhua.

Accompanied by his mother, he explained that classes in the city's eastern district of Iztapalapa were still suspended, as authorities from the Education Ministry continued to inspect school buildings for damage.

Only 103 of the capital's more than 8,200 schools opened on Monday, and attendance there was still spotty.

One Mexico City school collapsed in the quake, killing 19 primary school students as well as several adults, and officials do not want to risk a repeat of the tragedy.