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Death toll rises, donation centers open around country

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. — With the death toll now at 250, donations have begun pouring in from all around the world to help those affected by the September 19 earthquake.

President Enrique Peña Nieto has publicly acknowledged the generosity of the people of Mexico who continue to send food. Hundreds of collection centers have been set up throughout the country.

During a message to the media, Peña Nieto said that he has accepted technical assistance from Spain, the United States, Israel, Japan and other regions of Latin America that “have proven experience in natural disasters.”

He explained that they are working in stages which includes supporting the population with food, shelter and public services. Preparing a census of damage, which will be used as the basis for restoration and then, reconstruction which will involve the demolition of severely damaged buildings.

Mexico’s president said that to date, more than 50 people who were trapped in the debris in Mexico City have been rescued alive, adding that 95 percent of electricity has been restored to affected areas.

He also added that the Mexico City International Airport is already operating normally.

Donations to Mexico’s earthquake victims are being made through several local avenues including Grupo Experiencias Xcaret who reported they are sending 40 tons of food to the victims of Chiapas and Oaxaca.

The Cancun Convention Center opened a collection center in the hotel zone, which will be open from Monday to Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. for those who wish to drop off donations. The most needed items are canned foods, pasta, soup, mayonnaise, jam, oil and coffee among other nonperishable foods.

Río Secreto also set up a collection center where they are receiving canned food, but are looking to provide medical supplies such as gauze, rubbing alcohol, painkillers and toiletries such as sanitary paper, sanitary towels and antibacterial gel.

Other donated items requested include baby food, diapers for babies and adults, dog food, cleaning supplies, shovels, spikes, tarps, batteries, milk powder, flashlights and canned goods.

In Playa del Carmen, donations can be made at the Red Cross which will be open from 8 to 17 hours, located on Chemuyil Avenue, Villamar subdivision.

At Solidarity DIF at Calle 8 between avenues 30 and 40, which is collecting items from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

For the next two days, the Lions Club Riviera Maya has a collection center at Canaco on avenue 50 between 22 and 24 as well as Café Tatiaxca on CTM Avenue between 115 and 125.