MEXICO CITY: Mexican mogul Carlos Slim's foundation will donate more than US$105 million (79.55 million pounds) to help the country recover from two large earthquakes in September, Slim announced on Tuesday.
The Carlos Slim Foundation also collected more than US$21 million dollars (395.6 million pesos) from outside donors, raising the total contribution to more than US$126 million (2.373 billion pesos).
More than 217,000 donors participated in the effort, Slim said. The gift comes from the foundation's endowment, Slim added.
On Sept. 19, central Mexico was struck by an earthquake that measured 7.1 on the U.S. Geological Survey scale, level ling dozens of buildings and killing at least 369 people, making it the deadliest temblor in a generation. The earthquake came less than two weeks after an 8.1 quake struck southern Mexico, killing at least 98 people.
Estimates of the cost of rebuilding range from about US$2 billion, according to the government, to as much as US$4 billion, a calculation by investment bank Nomura.
Speaking at a press conference in Mexico City on Tuesday, Slim said the group will focus its efforts on rebuilding schools, reinforcing historic buildings and assisting hospitals. He voiced optimism about the effects the reconstruction efforts could have for the Mexican economy.
"I think it will be a very good factor, a big factor of employment in all of the affected zones," he said.
America Movil, Latin America's largest telecommunications firm by number of subscribers, is the crown jewel of Slim's empire, which also includes retailer Grupo Sanborns and commercial banking company Grupo Inbursa.
(Reporting by Julia Love)