World Mexico to ease capital lockdown, resume quake drills

01:21  08 may  2021
01:21  08 may  2021 Source:   afp.com

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The drill began at 11 a.m. with the sounding - for 50 seconds - of the earthquake alarm through 8,200 loudspeakers installed on streets, in schools and public buildings to warn the public of a hypothetical magnitude-8.1 temblor on the Richter Scale. The quake alert was activated for the first time in another drill held just a year ago, thanks to the installation of sensors on the Pacific coast that provide the public with 50 seconds to get to a safe location before the ground in the capital begins to shake.

By Daniel Trotta MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Relief supplies and volunteers are piling up at rescue sites in upscale districts of Mexico City following Tuesday's deadly earthquake in a show of solidarity that has contrasted with the government's struggle to get aid to people most in need. That disaster led to more rigorous building codes and regular quake drills . The lasting memory of the 2017 quake may be the outpouring of voluntary action, but also the unevenness of the relief operations and the lack of government coordination of resources. "There's plenty (of provisions and aid workers).

Mexican authorities announced Friday a further easing of pandemic lockdown measures in the capital and the resumption of earthquake simulation drills, reflecting a decline in new coronavirus cases and deaths.

an aerial view of a city: People take part in an earthquake drill in Mexico City on January 20, 2020. © RODRIGO ARANGUA People take part in an earthquake drill in Mexico City on January 20, 2020.

Mexico City will move next week to yellow status, the second lowest of four under the country's traffic-light system, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced.

The move will ease restrictions on capacity or opening hours for businesses including shops, cinemas, casinos, amusement parks and banks.

The government also announced nationwide plans to restart earthquake and other disaster drills that were suspended last year because of the pandemic.

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Millions of people in Mexico City have been taking part in a large-scale earthquake drill . On Sunday, people had marked the 25th anniversary of the 1985 quake that killed some 10,000 people.

Initial reports from the Mexican Seismological authority said the quake struck at 07:53 am local time at a depth of 10 kilometers with an epicenter approximately 12 km north of the City of Ixtepec. This is around 530km south of Mexico City. Rescue operations in Mexico City following the September 19 quake have been temporarily suspended while a risk assessment is carried out, according to the National Coordinator of the Civil Protection Authority, Luis Felipe Puente.

The exercises, held regularly before the health crisis, aim to prepare the country for the inevitable next major tremor to strike one of the most seismically active regions on Earth.

In Mexico City and other areas of seismic risk, the May 19 drills will simulate an earthquake with a magnitude greater than 7, while elsewhere authorities will pick a different type of disaster.

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Alarms will ring out in the capital, whose warning system using seismic monitors aims to give residents up to two minutes' warning of earthquakes with epicenters along the Pacific Coast.

Mexico's official Covid-19 death toll of around 218,000 is one of the highest in the world, and the actual figure is believed to be significantly worse.

But in contrast to many parts of the world, new cases and fatalities have declined since a surge in January that the authorities blamed on social gatherings around the New Year.

Hospitalizations for Covid-19 have declined for 16 consecutive weeks, according to the health ministry.

In Mexico City, hospital occupancy has fallen to 16.5 percent, from a peak of 90 percent.

The country of 126 million has administered 20.5 million coronavirus vaccine doses, including more than 600,000 on Wednesday -- the most yet in a single day.


Mexico questions USAID contributions to anti-graft group .
Lopez Obrador, shortly before meeting with US vice president, said the group promotes a ‘form of coup’.Lopez Obrador said the formal protest was sent because of funding for Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, a group that investigates political corruption. He said the group is seeking to undermine his government.

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