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    USAID and Colombian firefighters join rescue efforts in quake-stricken Mexico

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2017

    Members of a Colombian crew loading a plane with equipment and aid for Mexico (from Reuters video)

    Rescue workers working against the odds in Mexico City on Thursday received reinforcements from USAID amidst a rising death toll and dwindling hope of finding people alive more than 48 hours after a deadly quake.

    Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto reported that there could still be people alive in 10 collapsed buildings in Mexico City.

    Concentrating efforts on these areas, 67 U.S. search and rescue experts and five dogs will work alongside local rescue crews.

    Colombia is also sending 31 individuals and tons of technical equipment that will be dispersed in quake-stricken areas in Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos.

    “For all the women firefighters from Bogota and in the name of the unity, this group is ready to move forward and to do good work. We’ve been training for a long time. It’s been almost ten years that we’ve been getting ready for these kinds of emergencies,” said Cabo Yadira Piamonte, a Colombian firefighter.

    This was Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in 32 years, with the death toll currently standing at 233. Parts of Mexico City, home to some 20 million people, are built on an ancient lake bed that trembles easily in a quake. — Reuters


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    Japanese disaster relief team leaves for Mexico

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, September 21st, 2017

    A rescue dog and his trainer work on the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake hit in Mexico City, Mexico September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ginnette Riquelme

    Meanwhile, Japan’s disaster relief team has departed from Narita Airport today to join rescue operations in Mexico following the country’s most deadly earthquake in three decades.

    The team is composed of 70 people and four rescue dogs.

    International Emergency Relief official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Toshihide Kawasaki, who is part of the team said they will start working as soon as they arrive to help rescue as many people as they can.

    Mexico, for its part, expressed gratitude to the Japanese government.

    “Mexico is grateful for Japan’s support,” said Carlos Mexican Ambassador to Japan Fernando Almada Lopez. — Reuters

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    Powerful earthquake rattles Mexico City; death toll mounts to over 200

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

    A powerful earthquake struck Mexico on Tuesday afternoon, toppling buildings, rattling the capital and sending people flooding into the streets.

    Over a hundred people had been reported killed across the country, including scores in the state of Morelos, close to the epicenter of the quake, and dozens in the capital, Mexico City.

    But the figure is expected to climb, especially because rescuers are still frantically digging out people trapped beneath mounds of rubble.

    “We are facing an emergency in Mexico City, in the states of Puebla and Morelos we are here in Mexico City to help those people affected. There are medical centers available and public hospitals are opening up their services to everyone we may still find people under the rubble. Stay in touch, follow lines of communication, we will keep people updated,” said Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

    Residents in Mexico City, having just experienced shaking from a recent 8.1 magnitude quake say the tremors on Tuesday were far worse.

    “The ground started moving, it was very strong, the windows started to break, people started to leave their homes, this building in front collapsed,” said Oswaldo Casillas, a local resident.

    “I was in the building and everything started to shake,” said resident Roberto Aguilar.

    “It was a dark day for Mexico City, there was a lot of disasters, we never thought that such a disaster would happen in this city. We regret this tragedy, we suffered,” said emergency rescuer Mario Norberto.

    The epicenter of Tuesday’s earthquake and the larger one on Sept. 7 were more than 400 miles apart, but they both occurred in a region where one of the earth’s crustal plates, the Cocos, is sliding beneath another, the North America. — Reuters



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    Criminal probe opens into eight deaths at Florida nursing home after Irma

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, September 14th, 2017

    Police tape surrounds the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Florida U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

    Eight elderly patients died on Wednesday after being left inside a stifling South Florida nursing home that lost power during Hurricane Irma.

    The incident prompted a criminal investigation as it added a tragic new dimension to mounting loss of life from the storm.

    “This is very tragic. It’s very sad. Many of us have loved ones and assisted living facilities and we expect that care to be there for those people. And so that’s why, right from the onset, we took the initial step, we immediately started a criminal investigation into this matter and made sure that everyone was evacuated and we took control of the entire building immediately thereafter,” said Florida Police chief Tomas Sanchez.

    Officials continued to assess the damage inflicted by Irma with the overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday.

    More than half of the number was recorded in the Caribbean.

    The power losses from the storm had fatal consequences at the rehabilitation center at Hollywood Hills, a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, north of Miami.

    Three elderly residents were found dead on Wednesday inside the sweltering facility, which had been left without air conditioning, officials said.

    Five more patients from the nursing home later died at a nearby hospital, they said. — Reuters




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