Feature: Families still homeless as Mexico City marks anniversary of deadly earthquake

Source: Xinhua| 2018-09-20 04:45:52|Editor: Yurou
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MEXICO CITY, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- One year on from the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that claimed 369 lives and destroyed hundreds of buildings, some families are still living in tents.

The vast Iztapalapa district in east Mexico City is home to some two million people. In the district's La Planta neighborhood, large blue tents donated by the Chinese government a year ago still stand firm.

One tent is occupied by 56-year old Mauro Martinez, who, along with various neighbours, was made homeless by the September 19 earthquake.

Despite being blind, Martinez keeps his tent and few possessions fastidiously tidy. His bed is cleanly made, his wooden table clear and the small cart from which he sells snacks and drinks organized.

Martinez has not lost his spirit, in spite of the difficult conditions.

Next door, 36-year old Carolina shares her tent home with six other family members.

Before last year's earthquake she lived in the house she owned, she told Xinhua.

Yet the September 19 earthquake was not the only devastating earthquake of 2017.

Twelve days earlier on September 7, an 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck Mexico's southern state of Oaxaca, destroying countless properties and making many families homeless.

After both events, international aid including specialist rescue teams, poured into Mexico from around the world. Among the aid to arrive were 3,000 tents and 500 foldout beds delivered by the Chinese government.

Last year's September 19 earthquake was felt across five central states and, in a tragic coincidence, fell on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 deadly earthquake.

On Wednesday, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, assisted by the city's mayor Jose Ramon Amieva, led an official ceremony to remember the victims of both earthquakes.

The national coordinator of the Civil Protection Agency, Luis Felipe Puente, was also in attendance following the integral role the agency played in last year's rescues.

During the ceremony, the Mexican flag was flown at half-mast and a minute of silence was observed.