Damage to a church in Morelos. Damage to a church in Morelos.

Serious quake damage to Morelos heritage

Three-quarters of state's historic monuments classified as damaged

Repairing earthquake damage to public and private infrastructure in Morelos represents a considerable challenge but when the destruction of the state’s historic and cultural heritage is taken into account, the requirements take on a whole new dimension.

The final assessment of all the damage sustained by pre-Hispanic and colonial construction might be some time coming as authorities say the magnitude of the catastrophe has put a strain on the resources needed to respond.

To address that problem the government has called on the state’s engineering and architectural schools to help.

But it is known that dozens of historic buildings in the state will require major reconstruction or repair in order to preserve them.

The National Institute of Archaeology and History (INAH) has a list of 400 buildings considered historic monuments throughout Morelos. Three-quarters have been classified by the institute as being damaged.

The same agency reported that of the eight pre-Hispanic archaeological zones in Morelos, five have been affected.

All 25 former convents, 11 of which are considered historic heritage, sustained major damage during the 7.1-magnitude earthquake.

There are also 30 historic haciendas, 20 in the hands of private citizens and the rest managed by the government, all of which suffered considerable structural damage.

“This gives us an idea of the catastrophe . . . and of course that recovery will not be easy,” said Interior Secretary Matías Quiroz Medina.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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