Rescue dogs working hard to save lives in Mexico

Earthquake death toll in Mexico

Frida's handler, Israel Arauz Salinas, said she had suffered from exhaustion after searching the school Wednesday. Rescuers told reporters that the child, identified only as Frida Sofia, had signaled she was alive by wiggling her fingers.

On Thursday afternoon, navy Assistant Secretary Enrique Sarmiento announced that while there were blood traces and other signs suggesting someone could be alive beneath the school, all of its students had been accounted for. "We've never had any knowledge of this version", he said. Eleven children were rescued alive after the quake, while 19 children and six adults were killed, according to news agency AP.

"It's a source of pride to work with Frida".

"I guarantee that cost lives, because someone's there, they can't contact anybody and they're trapped under rubble", he said.

"They start associating the smell of the person with the reward of the ball", he said, adding that they train for about 3 hours a day for a year before being sent out to disaster sites.

Mexico's office of the presidency says the death toll from a magnitude 7.1 quake has risen to 273, including 137 in the capital.

The remaining unidentified body was that of a woman pulled from a collapsed building in the chic neighborhood of Condesa.

LAFD personnel are from what is known as the "heavy" team and are specially trained to deal with significant disasters involving collapsed buildings, USAID administrator Mark Green said in a briefing today.

As Mexico City's Topos "Mole" rescuers used sniffer dogs and tunnelled through rubble in a desperate search for people buried alive under tonnes of debris from Tuesday's natural disaster, one of their founders said the scale of the damage shows how the city is still unprepared to deal with major tremors.

In one poignant scene widely reported here, Karina Gaona stood in front of a downed building in the hard-hit Roma district and, in a loud voice, expressed support for her brother, Erick Gaona Garnica, who went missing in the structure. It was the second major quake to hit Mexico in less than two weeks.

Some are putting Frida on Mexico's currency.

Mexico was still recovering from another powerful tremor that killed almost 100 people in the south of the country less than two weeks ago.

On today's trip, the team is bringing with them specialized equipment and expertise that they pioneered and developed after responding to that quake 32 years ago. It mostly affected the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, but it was also felt in numerous areas that sustained damage on September 19. The quake is felt as far north as Mexico City - about 500 miles from the epicentre. The preliminary death toll is 228 people.

MSF activated its emergency response following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake-with its epicenter in Axochiapan in Morelos state-which struck Mexico City, Puebla, Cuernavaca, and several other municipalities in the center of the country. In any case, people are hoping that it will be at least another 32 years before anything similar happens again. In the town of Manzanillo alone, around 30 people are killed when a seven-storey hotel collapses.

Luis Felipe Puente, the coordinator of national civil defense, said Friday on Twitter that more than half of those killed, 157 people, died in Mexico City. The epicentre is 350 kilometres from the capital, large sections of which are razed.

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