Rescuers Work to Find Mexico Earthquake Survivors
Rescue teams in Mexico worked Thursday to reach those still trapped among the dozens of buildings that fell during a massive earthquake that has killed more than 230 people.
One search in Mexico City took place at a school where on Wednesday workers spotted a girl buried in the debris and were able to confirm she was still alive by asking her to move her hand.
That search went through the overnight hours into Thursday.
"The girl told us her name, Frida," rescue worker Rodolfo Ruvalcava told FORO TV. "Apart from just her name, she told us there were two other kids, and that there were other bodies. We don't know if the others are alive"
Since the magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit on Tuesday, workers at the school have found 25 people dead there, including 21 children. The school is one of what Mexico's education secretary said was more than 5,000 schools damaged by the earthquake.
Another search in the capital city took place in Colonia Roma, one of the areas hardest hit by the earthquake. At an office building that collapsed, a VOA reporter saw three people rescued from the rubble on Wednesday.
President Enrique Pena Nieto said at least 50 people had been pulled alive from buildings in Mexico City. He declared three days of mourning for those who have died and expressed the country's condolences to their friends and family.
He also praised the way Mexicans have responded to the disaster, while stressing the priority remains saving lives and getting medical attention to those who need it.
In addition to the local response in Mexico City and the states of Morelos, Puebla, Mexico, Guerrero and Oaxaca, help is coming from other nations.
A 32-member search and rescue team from Panama arrived with two dogs Wednesday. U.S. President Donald Trump offered search and rescue teams and other assistance during a phone call with Pena Nieto as well.
The Israeli military said it would send a team of 70 people to help with rescue efforts by providing engineering assistance.
Pena Nieto said his government accepted the technical and specialized help offered by the United States, Spain, Israel, Japan and other Latin American countries that have experience dealing with the type of disaster his country is facing.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Mancera also expressed gratitude for the international aid.
The city's international airport sustained some structural damage in the earthquake, but Pena Nieto said the airport has returned to normal operations.
Hurricane Maria Knocks Out Power, Floods Puerto Rico
Hurricane Maria dropped more heavy rain Thursday on Puerto Rico after knocking out power across the entire island, flooding many areas and killing at least one person.
The storm was the strongest hurricane to hit the U.S. territory in almost 90 years.
"When we are able to go outside, we are going to find our island destroyed," said Abner Gomez, who heads Puerto Rico's emergency management agency.
More than 11,000 people took cover in the hundreds of shelters set up across Puerto Rico, while others rode out the storm in their homes. Hurricane Maria has dropped 50 centimeters of rain in some places, while its strong winds took down power lines and cell phone towers and blew off roofs.
The National Weather Service office in San Juan said "catastrophic flooding" continued Thursday. The U.S. National Hurricane Center expected the water levels and high winds to subside during the day as the storm moves away.
The center of Maria will pass offshore north of the Dominican Republic Thursday and approach the Turks and Caicos Islands by early Friday. The latest advisories said the storm packed maximum sustained winds of about 175 kilometers per hour, and forecasters said Maria will strengthen some.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello imposed a curfew from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily until Saturday to allow rescue crews and officials to respond to the hurricane's aftermath.