Mexican President announces aid for quake-damaged houses

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Mexico City, Sep 23 (IANS) Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has announced aid for the reconstruction of houses damaged in the September 7 quake in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

On Friday, Nieto visited the town of Santiago Niltepec in Oaxaca to inspect the relief and rehabilitation work for the people affected by the 8.2 magnitude earthquake which killed 98 people – 78 in Oaxaca, 16 in Chiapas and four in Tabasco, reports Efe news.

The President, who took a tour of the town and talked to the residents, said that in Santiago Niltepec and throughout the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, the census of earthquake-affected people was complete and reconstruction work will start from next week.

He said that each affected household will be given a card which they can use to buy construction material and pay for the labour used in the reconstruction.

“We want to ensure that these cards are received by the affected families and there are no middlemen, that we don’t hand them to any leader but directly to the families,” the President said.

He added that the affected population will have access to the Temporary Employment Programme, giving them additional economic support along with the card.

Soft loans will be provided for bigger houses and businesses that require more resources.

He expressed hope that within three to four months, all the houses could be rebuilt and said that the aim was to make sure that the affected people could celebrate the New Year in a new house.

Mexico was hit by another earthquake on September 19, which has killed at least 292 people, affecting Mexico City and the states of Morelos, Puebla, Mexico, Guerrero and Oaxaca.

–IANS

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