A year on from a devastating earthquake that struck Mexico City and killed dozens of people, hundreds of buildings in the capital are still uninhabitable and many of their former residents remain homeless.
At 1.14 p.m. on Sept. 19, 2017, the anniversary of another devastating quake in 1985 that claimed tens of thousands of lives in Mexico City, a 7.1 magnitude tremor shook the center of the country, killing about 370 people.
In the capital more than 430 buildings either collapsed or have been demolished in the 12 months since, according to Plataforma CDMX, a government body set up to survey and categorize structures following the quake.
More than 1,000 buildings that are still standing remain at high risk of collapse according to data gleaned through reports and structural analyses filed on the Mexico City government portal by affected residents, many of whom have been forced to abandon their homes.
Movements in support of “los damnificados”—”the victims” or “the people who have suffered a harm,” as those made homeless by the quake call themselves—have sprung up across the capital.
One of the most prominent are the damnificados of Multifamiliar Tlalpan, a housing development in the south of the city which was once home to 500 families, according to citizen watchdog group Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity.
During the earthquake, housing block 1C of the development collapsed completely, killing nine people and trapping 18 others who had to be rescued.
A number of the 2,000 people who once lived in Multifamiliar Tlalpan haven’t been able to find permanent housing, surviving under tarpaulins in a makeshift camp at the edge of the development.
With the rest of the blocks declared uninhabitable, residents are still waiting for work to be carried out in order to make them safe.
A demonstration to call attention to the plight of the damnificados on Sept. 19 stopped all five lanes of traffic northbound on Tlalpan, one of the busiest roads in Mexico City.
Pictured at the top of this post, firefighters and demonstrators link hands at a demonstration at Multifamiliar Tlalpan in Mexico City on the first anniversary of the devastating 19S earthquake, 19.09.18 (Tim MacFarlan)