Forgotten quake victims outside Mexico City

Forgotten quake victims outside Mexico City

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Just how much damage the Mexico earthquake has caused is still impossible to gauge because proper analysis of affected regions outside Mexico City has yet to be carried out.

One hundred miles south of the capital lies the Jojutla, the largest town near the epicentre of the quake.

Most of its old downtown is either destroyed or will be bulldozed, almost all shops have been destroyed or will be, over half the population is now homeless. It is a proper disaster.

Video: Search continues for survivors trapped in rubble

The locals are claiming the government is ignoring them and focusing everything on Mexico City.

So far, they say, almost no government aid has been delivered; they are almost totally dependent on donations from aid organisations and civil society.

In searing hot weather we came across huge lines of people holding empty boxes standing next to a single truck. They are desperate. Many are homeless and hungry – any food in the shops that survived the quake has trebled in price.

Drone footage shows the extent of damge done to buildings in Mexico City.

Video: Mexico City quake damage from above

From the back of the truck small bags of basics are passed down, and hands marked with pen to signify they have received. It is dignified and organised and takes place in near silence. This is a community that knows it is in serious trouble.

There is a growing resentment here at the lack of official assistance and a belief that the government is lying.

Xadirah Olivar, standing in line with her children, told me that they have nothing left.

“There is food in the sports centre, but they won’t let it out. We don’t know why,” she said.

Stuart Ramsay reports from Mexico City

Video: Sky correspondent on Mexico rescue

Whether or not that is true we found impossible to verify. But, right or wrong, everyone we spoke to believes it, and that is a problem for the authorities in the coming days.

:: Stuart Ramsay – Determination in Mexico’s relentless search for quake survivors

The town is an absolute mess but full of people – locals and volunteers who have travelled in to help.

They dig and clear wherever they can and whenever it is needed; working their way through the rubble.

In truth, they aren’t looking for survivors any more. They have come because they say the government and the emergency services are failing to adequately help.

“They aren’t handing out food, they aren’t doing anything,” one of the rescue workers lugging rubble told me.There are lots of armed police and military here.

They close roads and redirect people but they aren’t doing much actual relief work that we can see.

Actually we didn’t see any.

This picture shows of a car crushed by debris from damaged houses in Jojutla de Juarez on September 20, 2017 a day after a strong quake hit central Mexico. More than 200 people died in Mexico after a powerful 7.1 earthquake on Sep 19, causing panic among the megalopolis' 20 million inhabitants on the 32nd anniversary of a devastating 1985 quake. / AFP PHOTO / Enrique Castro Sanchez (Photo credit should read ENRIQUE CASTRO SANCHEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Image: Jojutla was the largest town near the epicentre of the quake

Edward Rodriguez is a police officer and we came across him emptying the contents of his home onto the street, unsure how he is going to move them. He has not been given any assistance, even from colleagues.

“Unfortunately no one is helping us. We can do nothing,” he said.

“I asked my boss for permission to stay (off work) because my house is falling down and my family need me.

“I am staying but I’ll probably be arrested.”

On the street, preachers beseech people not to worry, saying God is helping them.

In the ruins of this town they are waiting for something a bit more tangible and quite a bit quicker.

Civil aid is coming but government aid so far seems in short supply.

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