To Mexico now where the death toll from last week’s earthquake has climbed to well over 300. Structures have been damaged throughout central Mexico, including more than 150 churches. That’s according to the country’s archdiocese. Hardest hit were churches in the state of Puebla, the epicenter of the quake. NPR’s Carrie Kahn sent this report from the town of Cholula.
CARRIE KAHN, BYLINE: In the center of town sits Cholula’s ancient pyramids said to be the widest in the world. It’s never been fully excavated, but to get to what is visible involves a steep climb.
Fifty-three, 54, 55 – I’m climbed at the top of Cholula’s ancient pyramid where the Church of the Remedies sits on top of the pyramid. Two of the beautiful churches’ domes have collapsed, and they’re not letting us go to the top. Instead, they’re holding mass outside.
UNIDENTIFIED PEOPLE: (Speaking Spanish).
KAHN: Dozens of parishioners have made the climb in search of solace in Sunday mass.
GERARDO LOPEZ RAMIREZ: (Singing in Spanish).
KAHN: Gerardo Lopez Ramirez is the church’s organist and tenor. He says his town is in mourning.