Mexico City rebuilding one month after 7.1 quake

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Mexico City (AP) -- One month after the magnitude 7.1 earthquake, efforts in Mexico City of demolishing damaged buildings, clearing up debris and starting reconstruction continues.

228 people were killed in the capital on September 19 and efforts to tear down buildings too damaged to be repaired are only just beginning.

Crews will strip buildings of anything that could be a hazard and begin the slow process of low-tech demolition in an urban setting.

According to Ricardo Monreal Avila, president of the Cuauhtemoc borough, some 800 buildings were affected with varying degrees of damage, and more than 70 will have to be completely demolished, leaving over 2,000 people without homes in his borough alone.

Monreal estimated Mexico City will need more than one billion US dollars in order to rebuild, and added that the 200 million his borough will be receiving will probably not be enough.

Many say they have not yet received promised financial assistance.

Maria Luisa Campusano Fernandez, a 64-year old widow mother of two, has been forced out of the apartment where she lived for 15 years after it was severely damaged by the quake.

She hopes the government will come through with the promise of a 20 million pesos loan, about 120,000 US dollars, for people who lost their property.

The recipients of the loan will only be responsible for paying the interests for a period of 20 years.

Zona Rosa, an area packed with bars, restaurants, and shops, and visited by thousands of tourists every year, was also damaged buy last month's earthquake.

The president of the association representing the area's business owners, Jorge Eduardo Pascual, estimates some 50 businesses will remain closed until the authorities demolish a severely damaged building that's putting a complete block at risk, and leaving somewhere between 600 and 700 people without a job to support their families.

Monreal said that at least 20 complaints have been filed so far by private citizens and by the prosecutor's office to determine responsibilities for damages and collapses, and he expects those numbers to rise.