Big Tech has big plans to help reconnect Puerto Rico 

Facebook and Google once aimed to connect the world. Now they would be happy just to reconnect part of it.

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pledged to send a “connectivity team” to help restore communications in ravaged Puerto Rico. Google parent company Alphabet offered to send its Wi-Fi balloons. They were among several tech companies proposing disaster response ideas, most aimed at getting phone and internet service up and running.

Some of these plans, of course, are more aspirational than others.

In this Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 photo, power lines are down after the impact of Hurricane Maria, which hit the eastern region of the island in Humacao, Puerto Rico. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti, File)

BATTERY POWER

Tesla CEO Elon Musk often takes to Twitter to mull over ideas, but on Friday his musings about sending his company’s solar-powered batteries to help restore Puerto Rico’s power attracted the attention of the island’s governor.

“Let’s talk,” said Gov. Ricardo Rossello in a Friday tweet.

Musk agreed. Hours later, he announced he was delaying the unveiling of Tesla’s new semi-truck and diverting resources, in part to “increase battery production for Puerto Rico and other affected areas.”

The need for help in restoring power and communication after Hurricane Maria is great: The Puerto Rican energy authority reported Saturday that about 88 percent of the island is still without power. The Federal Communications Commission said Saturday that 82 percent of cell sites remain out in Puerto Rico; 58 percent are out of service in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The FCC’s daily status report also shows significant wireline, TV and radio outages remain in both U.S. territories. The agency formed a task force this week and approved an advance of $77 million to support carriers working to restore telecommunications services.

VAGUE PROMISES

But many offers of help from big companies remain somewhat vague. Google parent company Alphabet has proposed launching balloons over the island to bring Wi-Fi service to hard-to-reach places, as it has in other parts of the world.

The FCC announced Saturday that it’s approved an experimental license for Project Loon to operate in Puerto Rico. But that doesn’t mean it will able to get them in the air anytime soon.

“We’re grateful for the support of the FCC and the Puerto Rican authorities as we work hard to see if it’s possible to use Loon balloons to bring emergency connectivity to the island during this time of need,” said Libby Leahy, a spokesman for Alphabet’s X division.

But there are limitations, she said Saturday.

“To deliver signal to people’s devices, Loon needs be integrated with a telco partner’s network – the balloons can’t do it alone,” she said, adding that the company is “making solid progress on this next step.”

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS

Cisco Systems has sent a tactical team and says it is working with local government, emergency responders and service providers to facilitate restoration and recovery efforts. The company, along with Microsoft and others, backs the NetHope consortium, which specializes in setting up post-disaster communication networks and has field teams now operating in Puerto Rico and several other Caribbean islands.

“Communication is critical during a disaster,” Zuckerberg said after the hurricane hit, announcing that employees from his company’s connectivity team – the same group working to build high-altitude drones that can beam internet service down to Earth – were heading to Puerto Rico. But with its aircraft still in the testing phase, the company said Friday that the engineers it’s sent to Puerto Rico are focused on providing support to NetHope’s teams.

SMALLER ORGANIZATIONS

Much of the ground work is being spearheaded by nonprofit organizations and small firms with expertise in rural or emergency communications.

Lexington, Massachusetts-based Vanu Inc., which sets up wireless communications networks in rural parts of the United States, Africa and India, is sending dozens of its small, solar-powered cellular base stations to volunteer crews on the ground in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Aid workers are pairing Vanu’s devices with other technology, such as inflatable satellite antennas.

After setting up a network on the island of Vieques, off the main island of Puerto Rico, one team watched from a roof as local residents started getting text alerts from family members who had been trying to get in touch.

“They noticed everyone in the plaza pulling their phones out,” said CEO Vanu Bose. “You don’t have to announce you’ve lit up coverage. People know right away.”

 




ASSMCA establishes crisis management clinic

With or without medical plan. That way anyone who understands that they require psychological assistance can arrive to the first of several crisis management clinics, established for emotional support.
There, an interdisciplinary team composed of psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, will attend to anyone who cannot reach their service provider, because of the emergency situation, or who does not have one, but given the circumstances feel the need to seek help,” said Suzanne Roig Fuertes, who is in charge of the Mental Health and Addiction Services Administration (ASSMCA).
“Anyone whose psychiatrist has not been able to open and requires a prescription for their medications, including addiction patients. It is a free service to help alleviate the emotional burden our people have, “added the official, who was supported by Dr. Michel Finnigan, Mental Health Disaster Director of Maryland, who” helped us at a time to establish some priorities “. It is also backed by the United States Agency for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA). “We want to make sure it’s an organized and structured process and that the help really gets where it has to go.”
Shelters
As for the shelters, Roig Fuertes pointed out that the ASSMCA staff is finding support along with other behavioral professionals. In fact, on the island, there are already behavioral professionals of the state of Colorado who will join the several mental health groups to give psychological support. Emotional support needs at shelters are identified through mayors and agency heads. All help is welcome. Individuals who wish to volunteer with ASSMCA can write to volunteerssaludmental@assmca.pr.gov. Those who are interested can also go to the first floor of the Convention Center where the Citizen Assistance Office has a volunteer support desk. They must carry their identification of collegiate or document that identifies them as professionals of the mental health.
The situation in the streets
In the face of the anxiety that is observed in the streets, product of the despair of the people before the lack of communication and essential services, Roig Fuentes offered the following recommendations:

 

  • “Within everything, we must return to the routine, as, for example, the time of rest. If we do not take care of ourselves, we do not work. Many times, intolerance and irritability arise from tiredness, frustration and impotence. If we rest, we will feel better. The loss is painful and hard to recognize, but we cannot think “why did this happen to me”, but “what am I going to do with what is happening to me.”
  • “Reevaluate. While you are taking your break, think about our values and how they reflect our actions. It is difficult what we are going through as a society and, above all, those who have had losses, but we must begin to look at our reality, what we are going to do with it; thinking about what we could do differently does not help. You have to think in an organized way; how we are going to get ahead “.
  • “Continue the sense of brotherhood. It is part of our culture and will help us recover. When we unite to cleanse our community, in addition to creating and / or strengthening ties, we keep our minds occupied and feel useful. “
  • Ss for the children: try to re-establish the routine, what time we eat, what time we sleep; that gives them a sense of structure and organization. Find a space to, under the circumstances, review the materials with any book or newspaper that you find, create stories to maintain creativity and a sense of family unity.
  • Remember the aged. With so much leisure time, surely, we will find the time to help another.
  • Think positively. Criticism does not build, but thinking positive gives us energy to move forward. Every time have a negative thought, we must change it for two positive ones.

 

The new center is located in the facilities of ASSMCA, in front of the Veterans Hospital in the Medical Center. New ambulatory centers will be established soon in various parts of the island. The clinic has the support of the College of social work professionals, APS, the School of Psychiatry of the Medical Sciences Campus and other private and voluntary sectors.
 

 




Rio’s kids are dying in the crossfire of a wave of violence

RIO DE JANEIRO — An unborn boy’s lung is punctured by a bullet while still in the womb. A 2-year-old girl is shot in the head while playing at a restaurant. Three stray bullets cut down a 13-year-old during physical education class at school.

Rio de Janeiro, which just a year ago was in the global spotlight as it hosted the Summer Olympics, has always struggled with crime . But amid a national economic crisis that has exacerbated deep problems of inequality, this city famous for both its glamorous beaches and its sprawling slums is experiencing a wave of violence that’s the worst in a decade.

With an estimated average of 15 shootings a day involving police and heavily armed gangs that control large swaths of the city, hundreds of civilians have been killed or injured in the crossfire — and increasingly that includes children, many of whom have been felled this year by bullets intended for others.

In July, the federal government deployed over 8,500 soldiers to try to stamp out crime in Rio’s roughest neighborhoods. But so far they have not been able to stem the bloodshed.

Here are the stories of six children who died this year for no reason other than they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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JAN. 21: NO SAFE PLACE

As a police officer in Rio, where more than 100 of his colleagues have been killed this year, Felipe Fernandes always knew he was risking his life each day on the job. But he never imagined his 2-year-old daughter, Sofia Lara Braga, could become a casualty.

Police officer Felipe Fernandes never imagined his 2-year-old daughter, Sofia Lara Braga, could become a casualty.

As the family was dining early in the evening at a restaurant on the city’s north side, Sofia was romping in its play area. Suddenly a gunshot rang out from the street.

“Everyone was coming down from the playground, but not her,” Fernandes said.

He realized Sofia was motionless atop the jungle gym, and he ripped its protective netting to get to her. A stray bullet had hit the toddler in the head, killing her instantly.

Investigators have yet to determine whether it came from a gun fired by criminals or by police, who were pursuing a stolen car when the shooting happened.

Fernandes and his wife, Herica Braga, have since moved in hopes it will help them leave painful memories behind. But Braga is holding on to Sofia’s belongings. In their new home, a room dedicated to the girl has her dolls, teddy bears and clothes.

“I live with the illusion that maybe one day my daughter might come back home,” Braga said, tears rolling down her cheeks.

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FEB. 15: PLAYING OUTSIDE

Classes at Fernanda Caparica’s school in the Mare slum were canceled that morning due to gunfire between rival gangs, something that is all too common in Rio.

Thayana Caparica poses with a photo of her 7-year-old daughter Fernanda.

Thayana Caparica, 23, took her daughter home and ordered Fernanda, 7, and her two brothers not to leave the house.

But by afternoon Fernanda had grown impatient and wanted to play outside. She kept insisting. Finally Caparica let her go to a friend’s house.

Around 7 p.m. Caparica heard gunshots and immediately called the friend’s mother, who said the children were playing on the terrace. Moments later she learned that Fernanda had been shot in the face. The girl died at a hospital.

Their hearts broken, Caparica and her sons also now live in constant fear of more shootings. The eldest boy is especially petrified.

“Every time there is crossfire, he tells me, ‘Mom, I don’t want to die like my sister,’” Caparica said.

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MARCH 30: KILLED AT SCHOOL

Maria Eduarda Alves da Conceicao, 13, had wandered from her PE class on an outdoor basketball court over to the entrance of her school when she was hit by three bullets. They came from police officers who were after armed suspects nearby in the northern Rio slum of Acari.

“They saw it was a school, and they kept shooting,” said Maria Eduarda’s mother.

“They saw it was a school, and they kept shooting,” said Rosilene Alves Ferreira, the girl’s mother. “Over 60 shots were fired.”

A police officer has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The school is full of reminders of the curly-haired teen, who dreamed of becoming a basketball player or a flight attendant. On the outer wall, bullet holes have been painted over with red hearts. Maria’s smiling face is painted on a giant mural opposite the entrance. On the basketball court she is depicted with angel wings, taking a selfie.

After her death Rio’s security chief promised to revise police protocols for operating near schools. The mayor promised to build bulletproof walls around public schools in dangerous areas. Neither change has yet to materialize.

 

APRIL 26: A PUDDLE OF CRIMSON

Every night before going to bed, Tereza Farias looks at cellphone pictures taken by bystanders who witnessed her son’s slender body lying in his own blood.

Felipe Farias, 16, died in the Alemao slum complex while he was returning from a protest condemning the death of a 13-year-old who was also killed by gunfire.

Felipe was the fourth person killed in Alemao just in that week. The wall of the narrow alley where it happened is still pockmarked with bullet holes the size of bottle caps.

Several witnesses reported the fatal shot came from police. However, investigators have told Farias they will not go to the scene for fear of being attacked by gang members.

“The investigator told me that if he came here it would be like signing his death sentence,” said Farias.

Claudineia dos Santos Melo and her husband Klebson Cosme da Silva, hold the coffin containing the remains of their newborn son Arthur.

Felipe had hoped to join the army when he turned 18, following in the footsteps of his two older brothers and his uncle.

“I used to tell him, ’Don’t worry, your time will come,’” Farias said. “But his time didn’t come.”

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JUNE 30: SHOT IN THE WOMB

Claudineia dos Santos Melo, almost nine months pregnant, had just finished running errands at her local supermarket in a slum in the metro-area city of Duque de Caxias when she saw a police car racing in her direction.

She sensed a shooting could break out at any moment. But before she could take cover, she was hit.

“I immediately thought of him because my belly hurt a lot,” Melo said, referring to her unborn son, in an interview with Globo TV a few days later.

Melo was taken to a hospital, where doctors performed a cesarean section to deliver the baby. The bullet had damaged his lungs and spine.

Melo met the son she named Arthur for the first time a week later in the intensive care unit. After spinal surgery, Arthur appeared to be recovering. Doctors even called him a “miracle” baby. But he died of bleeding July 30, exactly a month after the shooting.

To this day, police have yet to officially assign responsibility for the deadly gunshot.

At the funeral, the only sound was the clicking of journalists’ cameras as Arthur’s father silently carried the tiny white coffin.

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JULY 4: A RAID TURNS DEADLY

Police officers barged into the home of 10-year-old Vanessa dos Santos in the Lins slum complex, purportedly in search of a suspect. But the girl was the only one there.

From next door, Vanessa’s neighbor and godmother shouted a warning for her to get out immediately. As Vanessa bent down to pick up her flip-flops, a high-caliber bullet struck her head. She died on the doorstep.

“The first thing (police) said was that it was a stray bullet,” said her father, Leandro Matos, visibly outraged that they treated it as such. “It wasn’t. They started shooting inside the residence.”

To this day, police have yet to officially assign responsibility for the deadly gunshot.

Like relatives of some other victims, Vanessa’s mother and two older brothers have moved because they were haunted by the holes left on the yellow walls of the living room.

“I use to imagine the bad things that could happen — like a car running over my child,” said Matos, who had already moved years ago after divorcing Vanessa’s mother. “But now I’m neurotic. Everything scares me.”

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Memorials spring up at Mexico City’s quake collapse sites

By Moisés Castillo

MEXICO CITY — On sidewalks, on median strips and amid the brick dust and rubble of buildings that collapsed in Mexico’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake, impromptu memorials have sprung up across the capital as it begins to come to terms with its losses.

It is part of a process of grieving, remembering and paying homage to the victims as well as the volunteers and first responders who toiled for days to rescue survivors and recover the bodies of the more than 350 people who died.

In front of the campus of the Tecnológico de Monterrey on the south side of Mexico City, people arranged stuffed plush toys of rams — the university’s mascot — in piles under hand-lettered messages to five students who died Sept. 19.

Flowers, handwritten messages, and a Mexican flag are arranged in a makeshift memorial for earthquake victims, erected by the community in Parque Mexico in the heart of the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. (Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Isaias Medina, 33, visited the memorial with his wife, young son and daughter this week. Medina’s children attend school steps away from the campus, and when the quake struck he rushed to pick them up. They were safe, but falling walkways and walls killed the five college students.

“I was very sad to see the buildings all cracked up in places,” Medina recalled.

“For us, as a family, there is sadness. What happened is a tragedy that you feel in your heart, your soul,” he continued. “But now let’s move forward. As they say, ‘Be strong, Mexico,’ and we’ll get through this.”

To the north, white flowers and wreaths piled up at a previously existing statue of a family a block or two from where a wing of a school building collapsed, killing 19 children and seven adults. Some had taped images of Roman Catholic saints and psalms to a wall, and star-shaped balloons and stuffed animals topped the statue.

The plight of the children trapped in the Enrique Rebsamen school became an international focus of attention during the rescue effort, and messages of support poured from abroad — including from one of soccer’s biggest stars. Lionel Messi, of the Barcelona club, recorded a video dedicated to Leonardo Farias, 8, who was rescued from the school.

“Hello Leo. I wanted to send you a big hello and wish you all the luck. Take good care of yourself.”

At the site of a six-story apartment building that collapsed, killing a dozen people, someone spray-painted on a sheet of plywood fencing: “To the neighbors of 32,” a reference to the street address. Also scrawled on the barrier were the first names of those who died in the building.

On Peten Street, where a seven-floor apartment building collapsed, volunteers left construction helmets they had used during rescue efforts atop a flag at a shrine on the now-cleared lot.

“It is an honor to work with the marines, the city and federal police, students and civil society, all for one purpose,” a volunteer had written on one white helmet.

Where a five-story office and factory near the city center once stood, the rubble has now been cleared and all that’s left is a concrete foundation that traces the building’s footprint.

People left flowers and testimonials scattered among the five-gallon buckets that were used to carefully remove debris in the first days of the rescue. Colorful strips of cloth memorialized the clothing workers who died there, along with a banner reading “Not one more woman.”

“The life of one seamstress is worth all their machines,” read a message painted on the last part of wall still standing.




Mexicans displaced by quake: ‘This is like a horror story’

By Christine Armario and Natacha Pisarenko

MEXICO CITY — Inside the Francisco Kino Elementary School a miniature city has emerged at the site of a shelter for people who lost their homes in last week’s deadly earthquake.

On the school’s open-air courtyard, doctors test blood pressure and glucose levels at a makeshift triage center set up on a plastic table. Nearby, children get haircuts while stressed-out parents receive massages.

But frustration is growing inside the gym, where families camp out on mattresses alongside piles of new, donated belongings. Days without easy access to a shower and the loss of simple liberties like deciding when to turn out a light to go to asleep have become aggravating.

They want to know: How long will they be stuck here?

“This is like a horror story,” said Ana Maria Castaneda, 49, who is living at the shelter with five relatives.

Shadows of rescue workers and volunteers are cast on the wall of an apartment building covered with the spray painted words in Spanish: “Evacuation route” in the southern neighborhood of Tlalpan in Mexico City, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.  (Natacha Pisarenko/AP)

More than 12,000 people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by the magnitude 7.1 quake have spent at least one night in a shelter since the quake, the Mexican government says.

Officials pledged Tuesday to give families chased from their homes a monthly payment of 3,000 pesos — the equivalent of about $170 — to find a new place to live for a total of three months. But an average one-bedroom apartment outside Mexico City’s center can easily run twice as much.

“We will directly support families with resources and materials to repair damages or build a new home,” President Enrique Pena Nieto said in a televised address Tuesday night.

Government employees fanned out Tuesday urging the 25 families living at the Francisco Kino school to visit a nearby park where officials have set up areas for victims to sign up for benefits, but the suggestion was met with skepticism and resistance. If they went to the plaza, some people worried, they might lose their coveted spots at the shelter. Some 500 families were forced from nearby apartment buildings after one collapsed and the school had space only for two dozen.

“Sorry to interrupt you,” one elderly woman sitting on a donated mattress said at a meeting with a visiting representative from Mexico City’s Women’s Institute. “They tell us if we leave here, we’ll lose our shelter. But if we don’t go there, we might miss out on government benefits.”

“After the fright of the quake, why are they scaring us with these threats?” she asked.

The residents were urged to go one-by-one to sign up for government assistance, leaving family members to watch over their belongings.

According to Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera, inspectors have examined damage at 10,903 properties so far and 83 percent of the structures are safe to live in. That means about 1,800 have been marked uninhabitable.

In all, some 43 shelters across the capital have tended to 24,000 people since the Sept. 19 quake, though many came just for a plate of food before finding a place to stay with friends or family.

It’s unclear how long the shelters will be operating. Volunteers and government employees stationed at the Francisco Kino school — a shelter run largely by neighborhood residents — said it would stay open for the foreseeable future.

“As long as is necessary,” said Elizabeth Garcia, a government worker inspecting the site Tuesday.

The mountain-like piles of donated water bottles and medical supplies along with the growing level of organized services give the impression of a population that is starting to settle in. Rows of toothbrushes and toothpaste rest on sinks outside a children’s bathroom. A room that once held school materials has been fashioned into a space for medical donations. A cardboard box holds mounds of antibiotics. On a desk are Styrofoam cups holding injectable medicines like anti-inflammatories that are labeled with a black marker.

Dr. Misael Dominguez, an attending physician, said doctors have “practically everything we require.”

“We have seen a lot of high blood pressure and sugar levels from the stress,” he added.

At that moment, a doctor was poking one of Roberto Ramirez’s fingers with a needle to draw blood and test his glucose levels. Ramirez, a 33-year-old musician and computer programmer, is a diabetic and lives in an apartment that has been deemed too dangerous to inhabit. He was away from home when the quake struck and wasn’t able to retrieve his glucose testing kit.

He said he has been trying to take better care of his health since the quake, saying, “I value things more.”

The result came back high: 259.

To the left of the entrance are signs offering psychological services. Many of those sheltering at the school have arrived with the quake’s trauma still weighing heavily on their minds.

Florencia Cortes, 37, was pulled from the rubble of her apartment building along with her 20-month-old son, Jonatan. In order to get her son out, she had to swing him toward the building’s plumber, who happened to be outside. He caught hold of the boy by his foot.

Jonatan used to follow his mother around everywhere. Now she says he stick by his father, who wasn’t home during the quake.

“He’s not the same,” Cortes said. “Maybe he thinks I threw him and don’t love him.”

Many of the shelter residents harbor a deep mistrust of their government to set things right. While government workers occasionally come in, for the most part officials have been absent, they say. Some are vowing to stay until they’re given a new place to call home.

“The government has the last word and no one knows anything about the government here,” said Angelina Usuna, 81.

Night can bring the hardest hours. A lucky few have donated mattresses, but most are sleeping on uncomfortable foam mats. They get a few hours of sleep at best. Wary of sharing a collective space, no one feels entitled to tell someone else to be quiet or turn out a light.

In fact, it’s impossible to make the gym completely dark. As part of the shelter’s safety protocol, one light must be kept on in case another tremor strikes.




The Latest: Pentagon boosts troop numbers in Puerto Rico

In this photo taken Aug 1, 2017, President Donald Trump speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington.  (Alex Brandon, File/AP)

The Latest on Hurricane Maria (all times local):

7 p.m.

The Pentagon is greatly increasing the active-duty military forces being sent in to help relief efforts in Puerto Rico, growing from about 2,500 now to possibly double that number in the next several days.

John Cornelio, spokesman at U.S. Northern Command, says an Army brigadier general will take over the military response. It will include additional medical facilities, satellite communications equipment and a civil affairs unit from Fort Bragg, N.C., that will be used to help communicate with the residents on the island. The unit will use loudspeakers, trucks, leaflets and text messaging to get needed information to the public.

The hospital ship USNS Comfort is expected to leave Baltimore by Saturday, and it will take three to five days to reach Puerto Rico.

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6:40 p.m.

The federal government will pick up 100 percent of the costs for debris removal and other emergency protective measures in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The White House made the announcement Tuesday, saying it will pick up all the costs for six months after the hurricane’s impact.

U.S. states and territories typically cover 25 percent of the costs, with the federal government paying the remaining 75 percent.

Previously, Trump had pledged to cover 90 percent of costs for debris removal in the Virgin Islands, and 100 percent of protective measures for 30 days, then 90 percent after that.

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5:50 p.m.

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida says “it will take a much more aggressive federal reaction” to help hurricane victims in Puerto Rico because its government has been so strained by two storms and a fiscal crisis.

Rubio has met with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House and with fellow senators after visiting the island Monday. He says he’s encouraged by their desire to help.

Still, Rubio says he fears that conditions on the island could grow desperate in the coming days.

He says barges bringing in supplies and equipment take days to arrive, and once they get to the island, it’s difficult to distribute the items.

Rubio says “the situation grows graver” every day for parts of the island without power.

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4:30 p.m.

The Trump administration is sending additional resources to Puerto Rico to step up the federal response to Hurricane Maria, including a flotilla of ships and thousands more military personnel.

Speaking Tuesday outside the White House, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long says the devastation wrought by the storm presents unique logistical challenges for the federal response. He says demolished airports and seaports have made it difficult to get aid and personnel to the stricken island.

Long says 16 Navy and Coast Guard ships are now in the waters around Puerto Rico, with another 10 ships on the way. They include the USS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship. Planes and ships are also bringing in a military force to help distribute aid.

3:40 p.m.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been able to reach most of her family in Puerto Rico, after several days of trying.

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg says Sotomayor’s relatives are doing OK as the U.S. territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.

Sotomayor shared her concerns last week because she couldn’t contact about half her relatives after Maria walloped the island.

Sotomayor’s parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico before she was born.

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2:40 p.m.

The federal government will pick up 100 percent of the costs of for debris removal and other emergency assistance provided to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

President Donald Trump made the change Tuesday as part of an amendment to his earlier disaster declaration authorizing federal aid in response to the Category 4 storm. U.S. states and territories typically cover 25 percent of the costs, with the federal government paying the remaining 75 percent.

Puerto Rican officials and sympathetic members of Congress had called on Trump to relieve the island’s cash-strapped government of the cost-sharing requirement.

Trump’s declaration covers costs for removing downed trees, utility poles and other debris, as well as spending for emergency protective measures taken to save lives, protect public health and ensure public safety.

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2:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he was not preoccupied with his fight with the NFL over the weekend at the expense of storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.

Trump was asked Tuesday about criticism that he was paying too much attention to the fight over football players kneeling during the national anthem. He says he has “plenty of time” on his hands, adding that all he does is work. Speaking out against the protests, he said, amounts to “respect for our country” and is part of his job.

Trump has come under criticism that his administration responded too slowly to the growing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria knocked out power to virtually the entire island. He said he is visiting Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday.

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2:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump is sending “America’s hearts and prayers” to people in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands and says he’ll visit both places next week.

Trump said Tuesday that a “massive” effort to help people recover from Hurricane Maria is underway. He added that includes the military, though he did not give specifics.

Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden after he received criticism from some U.S. lawmakers that the administration’s response to Hurricane Maria has fallen short of its efforts in Texas and Florida after storms there.

Maria roared ashore Sept. 20 and knocked out nearly all power in Puerto Rico, leaving its 3.4 million residents short of food, water and supplies.

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1:25 p.m.

It’s getting easier to leave Puerto Rico, where more than 3.4 million U.S. citizens still lack adequate food, water and fuel five days after Maria pounded the island as a Category 4 hurricane.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan is handling nearly 100 arrivals and departures daily, including military and relief operations as well as more than a dozen commercial passenger flights per day.

The agency is taking reservations for arrival and departure slots to manage space at the airport and safely separate aircraft in the air.

Maria destroyed or disabled a number of essential radar, navigation and communication systems, so the FAA has been bringing in replacements by air and sea, and technicians are working now to get them working.

The FAA says a long-range radar in the Turks and Caicos returned to service on Monday, giving air traffic controllers a much better picture of planes and helicopters in the region. Meanwhile, technicians are using chain saws to cut a path through a rain forest to reach a mountaintop where a second long-range radar site remains offline.

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12:50 p.m.

A group of 10 Democratic senators has requested that Congress immediately take up legislation to help the residents of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The lawmakers say a supplemental spending bill is needed right away because of the devastation brought by Hurricanes Maria and Irma.

They say the two U.S. territories need financial help to rebuild homes, provide temporary housing and repair vital infrastructure. Without it, they say the challenging road to recovery will only be prolonged.

The lawmakers are making the request as part of a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

They say, “as members of Congress, we have an obligation to ensure all citizens of the United States affected by natural disasters have sufficient resources to recover.”

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12:45 p.m.

The Federal Highway Administration is helping Puerto Rico with damage assessments so that emergency relief money can help restore roads throughout the island.

The TS Kennedy, a former commercial freighter used by the Maritime Administration for training, is currently sailing from Texas to the Virgin Islands to support hurricane recovery efforts in the U.S. Virgin Island and Puerto Rico.

The Federal Transit Administration is working with FEMA on improving ferry service between Puerto Rico islands. As of Monday, limited ferry service was available during daylight hours to transport emergency supplies to Vieques and Culebra.

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11:55 a.m.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello says he’s spoken “as recently as last night” to President Donald Trump about the crisis Hurricane Maria caused on the island. He says he’s “confident the president understands the magnitude of the situation.”

Speaking to reporters Tuesday at a Puma gas facility in San Juan, Rossello

said “the president has offered a waiver on matching funds” for aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which means the cash-strapped island won’t have to contribute to the initial costs of this federal help.

Rossello said he’d be speaking with Trump later today to discuss “a long-term recovery package for Puerto Rico to be presented to Congress,” apparently next week.

He also said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has offered to send a National Guard unit to aid in security

___

11:40 a.m.

Congressional Democrats say President Donald Trump is not acknowledging the gravity of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-NY, says she is concerned that Trump’s continued tweets about NFL players show he doesn’t grasp the severity of the crisis.

She warned Trump that, “If you don’t take this crisis seriously this is going to be your Katrina,” referring to criticism of President George W. Bush following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Velazquez also said she was “offended and insulted” by Trump’s tweet that Puerto Rico’s public debt contributed to the crisis.

Rep. Joe Crowley, D-NY, called it “absolutely ridiculous” for Trump to mention debt “when people are suffering and dying. Here’s a president who’s used bankruptcy throughout his entire career.”

___

10:58 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he’ll visit hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico next Tuesday.

Trump announced the visit after the administration came under criticism for its response to the damage on the island that is home to more than 3 million U.S. citizens. The island has been coping with shortages of food, drinking water, electricity and various forms of communication after Hurricane Maria struck earlier this month.

Trump said Tuesday is the earliest he can visit without disrupting recovery operations.

He says he may also visit the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Trump says Puerto Rico is important to him. He says Puerto Ricans are “great people and we need to help them.”

___

10:25 a.m.

The top Republican leaders in Congress are promising help for devastated Puerto Rico, with Speaker Paul Ryan calling it a “humanitarian crisis.”

Both Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that they are working with the Trump administration and awaiting word on what resources and disaster relief will be needed.

Hurricane Maria has left millions of U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico without food, water and housing. Ryan told reporters: “They need our help and they are going to get our help.”

Ryan said the $15 billion Congress passed early this month for hurricanes Harvey and Irma also applied to Puerto Rico.

McConnell said recovery efforts will not be easy.

___

8:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is thanking the major of San Juan for what he says are her “kind words” on the U.S. federal response to helping storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. But it wasn’t immediately clear what Trump was talking about.

Trump tweeted Tuesday: “Thank you to Carmen Yulin Cruz, the Mayor of San Juan, for your kind words on FEMA etc. We are working hard. Much food and water there/on way.”

It was Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló who had conducted a news conference Monday alongside FEMA where Rossello urgently called for more emergency assistance but also expressed gratitude for the help so far.

It was Cruz who criticized Trump for tweeting about Puerto Rico’s financial struggles during the humanitarian crisis, saying “you don’t put debt above people.”

___

5 a.m.

The U.S. has ramped up its response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, even as President Donald Trump brought up the island’s struggles before Hurricane Maria struck. He tweeted about “billions of dollars” in debt to “Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”

The Trump administration has tried to blunt criticism that its response to Hurricane Maria has fallen short of its efforts in Texas and Florida after the recent hurricanes there.

Five days after the Category 4 storm slammed into Puerto Rico, many of the more than 3.4 million U.S. citizens in the territory were still without adequate food, water and fuel. Officials said electrical power may not be fully restored for more than a month.




Mexico still tallying the economic cost of big earthquake

MEXICO CITY — Mexican government officials are still tallying up the economic losses of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake that caused widespread damage in the capital, but for the manager of a downtown restaurant it is already all too clear.

Sitting in the entrance of his Guapa Papa restaurant Monday surrounded in caution tape, Antonio Luna said: “This is a bust. It’s already closed due to structural damage to the building.”

He had to let go the three dozen employees at the 1950s-themed restaurant and is just trying to salvage whatever furniture and equipment wasn’t damaged.

Workers shovel papers and debris off the top of the rubble of a building that collapsed in last week’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake, at the corner of Gabriel Mancera and Escocia streets in the Del Valle neighborhood of Mexico City, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

“In the end the company let everyone go because it couldn’t continue having expenses,” Luna said.

Moody’s Investors Service said in a report Monday that the Sept. 19 earthquake that has killed at least 326 people in the capital and nearby states “has the potential to be one of Mexico’s costliest natural catastrophes.”

Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director for Moody’s Analytics, said they were still collecting data on losses, but a preliminary estimate was that the earthquake could knock between 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent off Mexico’s gross domestic product in the third and fourth quarters.

For the full year, the impact on gross domestic product should be about 0.1 percent. “The impact on the year’s growth will be small, particularly considering that the reconstruction work will compensate for some of the total loss in activity during the fourth quarter,” Coutino said.

Money is expected to pour into the economy as Mexico City and the federal government tap their disaster funds. As of June, the city’s disaster fund stood at 9.4 billion pesos (more than $500 million), making it slightly larger than the national fund, according to a Moody’s Investors Services report.

Of course, the national fund also has to deal with recovery from the even stronger Sept. 7 quake that has been blamed for nearly 100 deaths, mostly in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas.

There will be months of work ahead from demolition to repairs and reconstruction.

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said that 360 “red level” buildings would either have to be demolished or receive major structural reinforcement. An additional 1,136 are reparable, and 8,030 buildings inspected so far were found to be habitable.

At least 38 buildings, including apartments and office buildings, collapsed during the earthquake.

Mexico’s education ministry also has 1.8 million pesos to spend on school repairs. In Mexico City alone, only 676 of the city’s 9,000 schools had been inspected and cleared to resume classes, Education Secretary Aurelio Nuno said Monday.

AIR Worldwide, a Boston-based catastrophe modeling consultant, provided a wide range for industry-insured losses, but noted they would be only a small part of the total economic losses. It put the insured losses at between 13 billion pesos ($725 million) and 36.7 billion pesos ($2 billion).

A graceful traffic roundabout encircled by restaurants, cafes and shops is now a sprawling expanse of medical tents, piles of food and other relief supplies, and stacks of building materials. While relief work went on outside Monday, men were busily wrapping furniture in foam and plastic inside the Antiguo Arte Europeo store.

Stone panels on the building’s facade appeared cracked or were altogether missing. Saleswoman Luisa Zuniga said the owners were waiting for civil defense inspectors to certify there was no structural damage to the building before reopening to the public.

Meanwhile, they were moving furniture that could still be sold to their other branches.

“Then we’ll see how long it takes to fix everything,” she said. “It is important to get back to work.”

Edgar Novoa, a fitness trainer, went back to his job Monday after working as a volunteer following the earthquake. Around midday, he stopped his bicycle at a cleared foundation where a building of several stories had stood near his home.

He knelt and prayed while others left flowers and candles at the site.




New earthquake, magnitude 6.1, shakes jittery Mexico

Soldiers stand guard next to a search and rescue operation at a building felled by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake in San Gregorio Atlapulco, Mexico, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo)

MEXICO CITY — A strong new earthquake shook Mexico on Saturday, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month that have killed nearly 400 people.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the new, magnitude 6.1 temblor was centered about 11 miles (18 kilometers) south-southeast of Matias Romero in the state of Oaxaca, which was the region most battered by a magnitude 8.1 quake on Sept. 7.

It swayed buildings and set off a seismic alarm in the capital, promping civil defense officials to temporarily suspend rescue operations in the rubble of buildings downed by Thursday’s magnitude 7.1 quake in central Mexico.

That quake dimmed activity in the stylish Condesa neighborhood, where young revelers typically spill out from dimly lit bars and restaurants on a Friday night. But the first weekend since a 7.1 magnitude earthquake toppled buildings just blocks away began on a somber note.

Instead of crowds gathered with beers, small handfuls of rescue workers still dressed in reflective vests took breaks from digging through rubble. Entire restaurants with white linen tables were empty. Metal gates shuttered others.

Search and rescue teams in Mexico City on Friday continued to look for people buried in the rubble from collapsed buildings after Tuesday’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake. (Sept. 22)
“It feels lifeless,” said Mariana Aguilar, 27, a hostess at a bar and restaurant who stood waiting for guests yet to arrive. “I walk through these streets every day and you never imagine something like this would happen.”

The upscale Mexico City neighborhood was one of the hardest hit by the quake that killed at least 295 people, with more than a half-dozen collapsed buildings in the immediate vicinity. The few Condesa residents who ventured out Friday night said they were anxious for relief from an anguishing week.

“The city is still quite tense,” said Israel Escamilla, an engineer, as he sipped a plastic cup filled with Coke at an empty bar. “But as good Mexicans we have to keep lending support however we can.”

As rescue operations stretched into Day 5, residents throughout the city held out hope that dozens still missing might be found alive. More than half the dead —157 — perished in the capital, while another 73 died in the state of Morelos, 45 in Puebla, 13 in Mexico State, six in Guerrero and one in Oaxaca.

Along a 60-foot stretch of a bike lane in Mexico City’s downtown, families huddled under tarps and donated blankets Friday, awaiting word of loved ones trapped in the four-story-high pile of rubble behind them.

“There are moments when you feel like you’re breaking down,” said Patricia Fernandez Romero, who was waiting for word on the fate of her 27-year-old son. “And there are moments when you’re a little calmer. … They are all moments that you wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

Along the bike lane, where families slept in tents, accepting food and coffee from strangers, people have organized to present a united front to authorities, who they pressed ceaselessly for information.

They were told that water and food had been passed along to at least some of those trapped inside. On Friday morning, after hours of inactivity blamed on rain, rescuers were readying to re-enter the site, joined by teams from Japan and Israel. Fernandez said officials told them they knew where people were trapped on the fourth floor.

It’s the moments between those bits of information that torment the families.

“It’s that you get to a point when you’re so tense, when they don’t come out to give us information,” she said. “It’s so infuriating.”

Jose Gutierrez, a civil engineer attached to the rescue who has a relative trapped in the wreckage, gathered other families of the missing to let them know what was going on.

“My family is in there. I want them to get out,” Gutierrez said, his voice breaking. “So … we go onward.”

A roller coaster of emotions played out on Friday for Roberta Villegas Miguel, who was awaiting word of her 37-year-old son, Paulino Estrada Villegas, an accountant who worked on the fourth floor and is married with two young daughters.

Wrapped in a fuzzy turquoise blanket against the morning chill she said that her daughter-in-law was contacted by a friend who said she had received a call from a cell number that belonged to her son, but there was no conversation. Her daughter-in-law ran to authorities with the information, but hours later returned to say that it was her husband’s old cell number. At first they held out hope that he had given his old phone’s SIM card to a co-worker who was using it to call out of the building. But eventually authorities traced the call to Queretaro state, extinguishing that glimmer of hope.

The arrival of rain late Thursday and the resulting work suspension drove Villegas’ optimism down. But Friday morning the arrival of the Japanese rescuers buoyed her once again.

“We want to be hopeful,” Villegas said. “We don’t want to lose faith.”

Meanwhile, the time was nearing for bulldozers to be brought in to clear rubble and replace the delicate work of rescuers, though officials went to great pains to say it was still a rescue operation.

National Civil Defense chief Luis Felipe Puente acknowledged that backhoes and bulldozers were starting to clear away some wrecked buildings where no life has been detected or where teetering piles of rubble threatened to collapse on neighboring structures.

“It is false that we are demolishing structures where there could be survivors,” Puente said. “The rescue operations will continue, and they won’t stop.”

The long week’s torment weighing heavy on rescuers and residents alike, several of those gathered Friday night in Condesa said memories of the quake and worries for neighbors and victims were hard to escape.

Dionicio Pelaez, 57, the owner of a bike shop who has been helping collect donations, played pool with a dozen other men at a mostly empty restaurant. He said many of his neighbors lost their apartments.

“We came to distract ourselves a bit,” he said, his voice shaking. “This place is always full Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Now it’s empty.”




Mexico shocked by news: Girl trapped in rubble didn’t exist

MEXICO CITY — Hour after excruciating hour, Mexicans were transfixed by dramatic efforts to reach a young girl thought buried in the rubble of a school destroyed by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake. She reportedly wiggled her fingers, told rescuers her name and said there were others trapped near her. Rescue workers called for tubes, pipes and other tools to reach her.

News media, officials and volunteer rescuers all repeated the story of “Frida Sofia” with a sense of urgency that made it a national drama, drawing attention away from other rescue efforts across the quake-stricken city and leaving people in Mexico and abroad glued to their television sets.

But she never existed, Mexican navy officials now say.

“We want to emphasize that we have no knowledge about the report that emerged with the name of a girl,” navy Assistant Secretary Angel Enrique Sarmiento said Thursday. “We never had any knowledge about that report, and we do not believe — we are sure — it was not a reality.”

Sarmiento said a camera lowered into the rubble of the Enrique Rebsamen school showed blood tracks where an injured person apparently dragged himself or herself, and the only person still listed as missing was a school employee. But it was just blood tracks — no fingers wiggling, no voice, no name. Several dead people have been removed from the rubble, and it could have been their fingers rescuers thought they saw move.

Mexico’s navy says there are no missing children at a collapsed school where rescuers have been hunting for a girl believed to be trapped following the earthquake. It says a school worker may still be alive and trapped in the rubble. (Sept. 21)
Sarmiento later apologized for being so categorical, saying that if a person is still trapped it could be a child or an adult.

“The information existing at this moment doesn’t allow us to say if it is an adult or a child,” Sarmiento said. “As long as there is the slightest possibility of someone alive, we will continue searching with the same energy.”

Twitter users quickly brought out the “Fake News” tag and complained that the widespread coverage had distracted attention from real rescue efforts where victims have been pulled victims from the rubble — something that hasn’t happened at the school in at least a day.

Viewers across the country hung on the round-the-clock coverage of the drama Wednesday from the only network that was permitted to enter. The military, which ran the rescue operation, spoke directly only to the network’s reporters inside the site.

The Associated Press and others reported about the search for the girl, based on interviews with rescue workers leaving the scene who believed it was true. The workers had been toiling through the night, and the chance of rescuing the girl appeared to give them hope and purpose despite their exhaustion.

Reports about the trapped girl led to the donations of cranes, support beams and power tools at the school site — pleas for help quickly met based on the urgency of rescuing children. It was unclear if that affected other rescue operations going on simultaneously at a half dozen other sites across the city.

Despite all the technology brought to bear at the school, including thermal imaging devices, sensors, scanners and remote cameras, the mistake may have come down to a few over-enthusiastic rescuers who, one-by one, crawled into the bottom of shafts tunneled into the rubble looking for any signs of life.

“I don’t think there was bad faith involved,” security analyst Alejandro Hope said. “You want to believe there are children still alive down there.”

Rescuers interviewed by the AP late Wednesday at a barricade that blocked most journalists from reaching the site believed the story of the girl implicitly. Operating on little sleep and relying on donated food and tools, rescuers were emotionally wedded to the story, and the adrenaline it provided may have been the only thing keeping them going.

Rescue worker Raul Rodrigo Hernandez Ayala came out from the site Wednesday night and said that “the girl is alive, she has vital signs,” and that five more children had been located alive. “There is a basement where they found children.”

Despite the setback — and the diminishing hopes that anyone was left under the rubble — rescuers appeared unwilling to question the effort.

“It was a confusion,” said Alfredo Padilla, a volunteer rescuer at the school. “The important thing is there are signs of life and we are working on that.”

In retrospect, the story of “Frida Sofia,” had some suspicious points from the start.

Officials couldn’t locate any relatives of the missing girl, and no girl with that name attended the school. Rescuers said they were still separated from her by yards of rubble, but could somehow still hear her.

It could have political repercussions: Education Secretary Aurelio Nuno, often mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, had repeated the story about the girl.

Hope noted “something similar happened in 1985,” referring to the magnitude 8.0 quake that killed 9,500 people.

Media quickly reported that a 9-year-old boy had been located in the rubble days after the Sept. 19 quake 32 years ago. Rescuers mobilized in a huge effort to find the boy, but he apparently never existed.

“That generated anger against those who had spread the story,” Hope said.




Mexicans dig through collapsed buildings as quake kills scores

Soldiers remove debris from a partly collapsed municipal building felled by a massive earthquake in Juchitan, Oaxaca state, Mexico, Friday, Sept. 8, 2017. (Luis Alberto Cruz/AP)

People fill Paseo de la Reforma after evacuating from their offices after an earthquake in Mexico City, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Anita Baca)

MEXICO CITY – Rescuers found a surviving child on Wednesday in the ruins of a school that collapsed in Mexico’s magnitude 7.1 earthquake, one of many efforts across the city to try to save people trapped in debris under schools, homes and businesses toppled by the quake that killed at least 223 people.

Helmeted workers labored throughout the day, sometimes calling for silence to listen for any voices from the wreckage as they tried to reach the girl at the Enrique Rebsamen school in southern Mexico City. AP journalists at the scene saw three rescuers entering the rubble.

Rescuers spotted the girl and shouted to her to move her hand if she could hear them, and she did, according to Foro TV. A search dog was then sent into the wreckage to confirm she was alive.

Tuesday’s quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. Just hours before it hit, people around Mexico had held earthquake drills to mark the date.

One of the most desperate rescue efforts was at the primary and secondary school, where a wing of the three-story building collapsed into a massive pancake of concrete slabs. Journalists saw rescuers pull at least two small bodies from the rubble, covered in sheets.

Volunteer rescue worker Dr. Pedro Serrano managed to crawl into the crevices of the tottering pile of rubble at the school. He made it into a classroom, but found everyone inside dead.

“We saw some chairs and wooden tables. The next thing we saw was a leg, and then we started to move rubble and we found a girl and two adults – a woman and a man,” he said. All were dead.

“We can hear small noises, but we don’t know if they’re coming from … the walls above, or someone below calling for help,” he said.

Neighborhood volunteers, police and firefighters used trained dogs and their bare hands to search through the school’s ruins. The crowd of anxious parents outside the gates shared reports that two families had received WhatsApp messages from girls trapped inside, but that could not be confirmed.

Rescuers brought in wooden beams to shore up the fallen concrete slabs so they wouldn’t collapse further and crush whatever air spaces remained.

The federal Education Department reported late Tuesday that 25 bodies had been recovered from the school’s wreckage, all but four of them children. It was not clear whether those deaths were included in the overall death toll of 225 reported by the federal civil defense agency. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto had earlier reported 22 bodies found at the school and said 30 children and eight adults were reported missing.

In a video message released late Tuesday, Pena Nieto urged people to be calm and said authorities were working to restore power and other services to the 40 percent of Mexico City and 60 percent of nearby Morelos state that lost electricity. But, he said, “the priority at this moment is to keep rescuing people who are still trapped and to give medical attention to the injured people.”

“Every minute counts to save lives,” the president tweeted.

People across central Mexico already had rallied to help their neighbors as dozens of buildings tumbled into mounds of broken concrete. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said buildings fell at 44 sites in the capital alone as high-rises across the city swayed and twisted and hundreds of thousands of panicked people ran into the streets.

The huge volunteer effort included people from all walks of life in Mexico City, where social classes seldom mix. Doctors, dentists and lawyers stood alongside construction workers and street sweepers, handing buckets of debris or chunks of concrete hand-to-hand down the line.

Even Mexico City’s normally raucous motorcycle clubs swung into action, using motorcades to open lanes for emergency vehicles on avenues crammed with cars largely immobilized by street closures and malfunctioning stoplights.

Economist Alfredo Coutino, Latin America director for Moody’s Analytics warned Wednesday of economic disruption to several central states and the capital in particular.

“Though it is too early for authorities to have an estimate of the damage as rescue work continues, it is certain that economic activity … will continue to be disrupted for some time,” Coutino wrote.

The official Twitter feed of civil defense agency head Luis Felipe Puente said there were 94 dead in Mexico City and 71 in Morelos state, which is just south of the capital. It said 43 others were killed in Puebla state, where the quake was centered. Twelve deaths were listed in the State of Mexico, which borders Mexico City on three sides, four in Guerrero state and one in Oaxaca.

At the site of a collapsed apartment building in Mexico City, rescuers stood atop a three-story pile of rubble, forming a human chain that passed pieces of rubble across four city blocks to a site where they were dumped.

Throughout the day on Tuesday, rescuers pulled dust-covered people, some barely conscious, some seriously injured, from about three dozen collapsed buildings. At one site, shopping carts commandeered from a nearby supermarket were used to carry water to the rescue site and take rubble away.

As night fell, huge flood lights lit up the recovery sites, but workers and volunteers begged for headlamps.

Where a six-story office building collapsed in Mexico City, sisters Cristina and Victoria Lopez Torres formed part of a human chain passing bottled water.

“I think it’s human nature that drives everyone to come and help others,” Cristina Lopez said.

“We are young. We didn’t live through ’85. But we know that it’s important to come out into the streets to help,” said her sister, Victoria.

Ricardo Ibarra, 48, did live through the 1985 quake and said there hadn’t been anything like it since.

Wearing a bright orange vest and carrying a backpack with a sleeping bag strapped to it, he said he and his friends just wanted to help.

“People are very sensitive because today was the 32nd anniversary of a tragedy,” he said.

Buildings also collapsed in Morelos state, including the town hall and local church in Jojutla near the quake’s epicenter. A dozen people died in Jojutla.

The town’s Instituto Morelos secondary school partly collapsed, but school director Adelina Anzures said the earthquake drill held in the morning came in handy.

“I told them that it was not a game, that we should be prepared,” Anzures said of the drill. When the quake came, she said, children and teachers rapidly filed out and nobody was hurt.

Many people spent Tuesday night on the streets next to homes that were severely damaged or flattened outright, wrapped in blankets on mattresses dragged outside. In the morning they walked past shattered buildings and picked through what was left.

At a wake in Jojutla on Wednesday for Daniel Novoa, a toddler killed when his home collapsed, family members bent over a white child-size coffin surrounded by a crucifix and images of Mexico’s patron, the Virgin of Guadalupe. Alongside was a larger open coffin for the child’s aunt, Marta Cruz.

In Atzala in Puebla state, villagers mourned 11 family members who died inside a church when it crumbled during a baptism for a 2-year-old girl. People at the wake said the only ones to survive were the baby’s father, the priest and the priest’s assistant.