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US Relief Organizations Collect Donations for Mexico Earthquake Victims

U.S. relief organizations are collecting donations for earthquake victims in Mexico, where a major temblor Tuesday killed more than two dozen people and injured hundreds. Many Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles have ties to the stricken region and are offering help.

Officials at the Los Angeles Mexican consulate say nearly half of the Mexican immigrants in the United States who come from the stricken region live in Southern California. The consulate is helping coordinate their donations.

The relief group Operation USA is also soliciting aid. It has several million dollars in supplies already on hand, which pharmaceutical companies had provided earlier for general relief work.

Thousands in Western Mexico are homeless in the aftermath of the quake. Aid worker Neil Frame of Operation USA is awaiting word from the Mexican government on what supplies are needed.

"They have some seven temporary centers they've set up, shelters, to deal with the people, primarily in the state of Colima, so we will be looking at those centers to supply, if they need it," he said.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the American Red Cross are also collecting donations for the relief effort.

Red Cross spokesman Rick Radillo says Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles are responding to the disaster. "The ethnic populations of Los Angeles have historically been extremely generous in donating when there are disasters in their home country. Consequently, we are getting a lot of calls from Los Angeles residents asking how they can help," he said.

The Red Cross spokesman says his organization usually asks for cash donations and makes purchases, if possible, where a disaster occurred. He says that serves two purposes: stimulating the economy of the stricken region and getting supplies to disaster victims quickly.