Families still hold out hope those missing in Mexico quake

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Hope mixed with fear Friday on a 60-foot stretch of a bike lane in downtown Mexico City, where families huddled under tarps and donated blankets, awaiting word of their loved ones trapped in the four-story-high pile of rubble behind them.

On Day 4 of the search for survivors of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that brought down the seven-floor office building and many others, killing at least 293 people, hope rose and fell on the small things. A change in the weather, word that Japanese rescuers — strangers from half a world away — had joined the recovery effort, officials’ assurances that people remained alive inside, a call from a familiar number.

For Patricia Fernandez Romero, who spent the morning on a yellow folding stool under a handwritten list with the names of the 46 missing, it was remembering how badly her 27-year-old son, Ivan Colin Fernandez, sang and realizing how much she wanted to hear him again.

“There are moments when you feel like you’re breaking down,” Fernandez said. “And there are moments when you’re a little calmer. … They are all moments that you wouldn’t wish on anyone.”

The families have been camped out since the quake hit Tuesday. More than half of the dead –155 — 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.

Among the dead in Mexico City, eight victims were foreigners, the city’s morgue service announced.

They included four Taiwanese women. One of the buildings that collapsed in the quake housed a business listed as Asia Jenny Importaciones, S.A. de C.V. A South Korean man was also confirmed dead.

A Panamanian woman died, as did one man from Spain and one from Argentina.

Some of the areas hardest hit by building collapses included part of the city’s near west side that are favored by foreigners.

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.

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