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Mexico marks the anniversaries Wednesday of two deadly earthquakes: one that devastated the country last year, claiming 369 lives, and another that killed more than 10,000 people on the same date in 1985.
A year ago, residents of Mexico City had just finished the earthquake drill they hold every September 19—a ritual in memory of 1985—when, some two hours later, the ground started shaking violently.
Capital - People - Trauma - Buildings - Piles
The sprawling capital of more than 20 million people was soon reliving its 32-year-old trauma: buildings collapsed into tangled piles of concrete and steel, as frantic volunteers tried to dig through the wreckage to reach those trapped inside.
"It's the same nightmare as 1985," one sobbing resident, Georgina Sanchez, told AFP in the minutes after the quake.
Year - Scars - Earthquake - Vibrant - Capital
One year later, the scars left by the 7.1-magnitude earthquake are barely visible in this vibrant and cosmopolitan capital. But if you know where to look, they are there.
For example, at the Tlalpan housing project, on the south side of the city, some 100 people still live in an improvised camp beside what used to be building 1C.
Homeless - Collapse - People
They were left homeless by its collapse, which killed nine people.
Even more have died in the precarious conditions at the camp, according to Hector Toledo, one of the community's leaders.
Seventeen - Neighbors - Year - Toledo - AFP
"Seventeen of our neighbors have died so far this year," Toledo, 40, told AFP.
"They were sick, and kept getting worse.... Some of them asked to go back to their apartments to die, even though they were uninhabitable."
Drive - Authorities - Rubble - Rebsamen - School
A 15-minute drive from there, the authorities recently began clearing the rubble of the Rebsamen elementary school, where 19 children and seven adults were killed.
In the trendy Roma-Condesa neighborhood, there is nothing but empty space where a large office building crumpled into a mountain of debris, killing 49 people.
Swathe - States
Rebuilding has been slower in the swathe of central states that were...
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