Hundreds Of Mexico City Buildings Risk Collapse Following Quake - CATEGORY News today: TITLE

Hundreds of buildings and homes in Mexico City remain in danger of collapse nearly a week after the earthquake that devastated a large part of the country.

Terrified residents flooded police with calls for help Monday as entire apartment blocks began to crack and show signs of instability.

Thirty-eight structures were flattened in the 7.1 earthquake that tore apart Mexico City, Puebla and other parts of central Mexico on Sept. 19.

The cupola of Our Lady of Angels Church split in half Sunday evening and crashed to the ground, but nobody was hurt.

It will take weeks to get the city back to anything close to normal, officials said.

Only 103 of Mexico City’s roughly 9,000 schools were cleared to reopen Monday – giving thousands of children a prolonged and unexpected break.

At least seven schools are at risk of collapsing, said Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera.

Public and private sector workers on Monday lined the streets around their workplaces, too afraid to go inside.

“We are afraid for our own safety,” said Maribel Martinez Ramirez, an employee of a government development agency who, along with dozens of co-workers, refused to enter their workplace Monday. “The building is leaning, there are cracks.”

Some 360 buildings have already been tagged as “red level,” Mancera said.

Powerful 7.1 earthquake strikes Mexico City

They’ll either be demolished or need major renovations.

Another 1,200 could be repaired and some 8,000 already inspected have been deemed safe.

With only 186 accounted for of the 324 dead nationwide, dogged search teams still sifted through unsteady piles of rubble Monday, hoping to beat the odds and find survivors.

Marines on Sunday recovered what’s believed to be the final body from a collapsed school where seven adults and 19 children were crushed.

The last living person found was on Wednesday, and the odor of rotting corpses has settled over the city like a pall.

But the marines said they will continue to search with care — avoiding demolition or heavy machinery — until “there is full certainty” from officials that nobody could be left alive in collapsed buildings.

Other searches were closed in recent days when sniffer dogs didn’t find life and thermal imaging devices turned up no body heat signatures.

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