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Demolition crew at work. Demolition crew at work on quake-damaged building in Mexico City.

Mexico City quake preparations will cost 4 billion pesos: study

Water and transportation infrastructure and vulnerable homes need attention

Getting ready for the next big earthquake in Mexico City will not be cheap: 4 billion pesos (US $216.8 million) will need to be spent over the next six years, the capital’s reconstruction commissioner said today.

Edgar Tungüí said the funds should be allocated to improving the city’s water infrastructure, attending to 46,000 vulnerable homes and reducing the risks at strategic points on key transportation infrastructure such as the Metro and Metrobús systems.

The priorities were determined by a study carried out jointly by the Mexico City government and the consultancy Bain & Company.

About 300 million pesos (US $16.2 million) will also be needed to improve the city’s seismic monitoring system, the official said.

Speaking at the presentation of the government’s reconstruction report seven months after the devastating September 19 earthquake, Tungüí also said that authorities would listen to residents to determine how best to quakeproof the city.

“. . . Nothing is written in stone, we’re open to the suggestions and observations of the people who we visit every day in their damaged homes because they, better than anyone, know what their needs are,” he said.

Tungüí added that 40 buildings located in seven boroughs have already been demolished and a further 23 demolitions are under way. Almost 2,000 buildings are still awaiting a definitive ruling to determine their structural integrity and fate.

Recently sworn-in Mexico City Mayor José Ramón Amieva said that all funds allocated to rebuild the city and prepare for the next inevitable quake would be used transparently, honestly and efficiently.

The 7.1-magnitude earthquake caused more than 220 deaths in Mexico City and 370 in total.

It occurred 32 years to the day after an even more powerful quake rocked the capital in 1985.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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