USAID and Colombian firefighters join rescue efforts in quake-stricken Mexico
admin • September 22, 2017 • 2555
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
Armed robbers broke into a Mexican government coin manufacturer on Tuesday (August 06) and filled a backpack with more than $2 million worth of gold coins from a vault that had been left open, security officials said.
The daylight robbery was the latest high-profile crime to hit Mexico City, where crime has increased during record lawlessness plaguing the country.
Two people, one wielding a firearm, broke into a “Casa de Moneda” branch in the morning after throwing a security guard to the ground and taking his gun, Mexico City police said.
One of the robbers then went to the vault, which was open, and filled a backpack with 1,567 gold coins, police said.
The coins, known as “centenarios,” have a face value of 50 pesos, but trade for 31,500 pesos ($1,610) apiece, according to Mexican bank Banorte. That makes the total value of the haul at least $2.5 million.
The coin was first minted in 1921 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain, according to the central bank.
Production was suspended in 1931, but the coin was re-minted beginning in 1943 due to demand for gold coins.
One side bears Mexico’s coat of arms, with an eagle perched atop a cactus, and the other features the capital’s iconic Angel of Independence monument backed by the majestic Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl volcanoes.
The coins, 37 mm (1.46 inches) in diameter, have a gold fineness of 0.900, or 90% purity.
Mexico is suffering from record murder levels that have made the capital, long regarded as a relatively safe haven, increasingly prone to violent crime. (REUTERS)
“It is important that a national epidemic be dared in these areas to identify where a localized response is needed and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation,” Duque said during a press briefing on Tuesday (Aug 6).
Duque also said the health department along with other government agencies and local government unit will launch “the ‘Sabayang 4 o’clock habit’ para dengue out, focusing on search and destroy in mosquito breeding sites.”
The DOH also reiterated the importance of immediate consultation if an individual experiences dengue symptoms.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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