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The road ahead the earthquake

Little by little, search & rescue operations will make way for debris removal and reconstruction efforts
Damaged building - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
26/09/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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It's been a week since the earthquake which caused several damages in the states of Puebla, Morelos, and Mexico City. Little by little, search & rescue operations will make way for other equally important – but long-term – activities: debris removal and reconstruction. One or two days following the tragedy, it was said food supplies were no longer needed, yet as someone else stated: “This won't end in a couple of days and help will continue to be required in the upcoming months.”

There are several aspects that have to be considered for the future, in addition to reconstruction operations.

Safety. Right now, damaged buildings are being reviewed and inspected, with schools and public buildings being the top priority. We won't be able to return to our homes or schools after they have been deemed safe and verified with transparency. The proper execution of these tasks will allow us to know the exact number of people who are now homeless.

Help. Any assistance provided by the Government, authorities, or political parties, needs to be selfless – unconditioned. It's not a competition between political parties to see who donates more money towards reconstruction efforts. We cannot forget these resources come from the pockets of the citizens. Businesspeople and entrepreneurs have committed to contribute as well, yet there has been no word of the large construction companies who have obtained substantial benefits from public works.

Law compliance. Complying with the law will be vital, because, gradually, stories of survivors emerge – mainly in Mexico City – who claim the buildings they were in had been almost brand new. The construction regulation for Mexico City has been updated constantly since 1985. Real estate companies need to face the specific accusations and, if needed be, accept their responsibility. Similarly, authorities should also be investigated, due to direct conspiracy or negligence. What good is a strict regulation when corruption allows non-compliances and there is no punishment?

Citizen's collaboration. Society has shown its muscle, and it has to keep going. According to a poll published today by EL UNIVERSAL, 92% of the people thought the performance of civil society was “good” and “very good” after the earthquake, but barely a 50% of the respondents considered the performance of the authorities in a similar scale. The current generations, who many believed disinterested, have shown a reaction capacity that needs to endure in the future.

Just like 32 years ago, the 2017 earthquake will provide us with a before and after.

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