MEXICO CITY (KABC) -- It's been two years since a powerful earthquake killed 219 people and destroyed or damaged 20,000 structures in Mexico City. Today, more than 12,000 buildings and homes are still in ruins.
Residents like Irving Flores describe the recovery as slow and frustrating
"Its just too many houses in a really huge city," Flores said.
The 2017 quake crumbled three and four-story buildings, including an elementary school where 19 children and six teachers died.
Though some progress has been made, today, roughly 140 buildings remain in ruins, rubble still untouched, and 12,000 single-family homes are still uninhabitable.
Officials say the demolition process alone can be very slow because workers have to tear down buildings floor by floor.
But the previous administration is also blamed for failing to take action.
Mexico City's new recronstruction commissioner says much of the progress that's been made happened in 2019, after the new administration took over, and adds there are questions about where the city's $400 million reconstruction fund went in the months after the quake. Officials say they can't account for it.
Yet, there is hope among quake survivors in Mexico City. The new commissioner vows to complete the remaining destroyed 250 apartment buildings by next June and rebuild thousands of single family dwellings by the end of 2020. Meantime, residents who lost their homes have been receiving a monthly $200 government stipend. They used to have to stand in line for hours to receive it. The new administration is now distributing it through direct deposit.
Commissioner Cravioto says the government is stepping up to help, allocating $150 million this year and next to quake recovery.