News World Quake-ravaged Mexico endures another wave of tremors

Quake-ravaged Mexico endures another wave of tremors

This Mexico City resident takes the ongoing aftershocks in his stride, tucked up in bed on a busy street. EPA/Sáshenka Gutiérrez
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A strong new earthquake has shaken Mexico, toppling already damaged homes and a highway bridge, causing new alarm in a country reeling from two even more powerful quakes this month.

The previous quakes have killed more than 400 people.

The US Geological Survey said the new, magnitude-6.1 temblor was centred about 18 kilometres south-east of Matias Romero in the state of Oaxaca, which was the region most battered by a magnitude-8.1 quake on September 7.

It was among thousands of aftershocks recorded in the wake of that earlier quake, which was the most powerful to hit Mexico in 32 years and killed at least 96 people.

The Government of Oaxaca state reported that four people were injured in Juchitan and three in Tlacotepec, but none of their lives were in danger. Another person suffered a broken clavicle in the town of Xadani.

Three hotels and two churches were damaged and a highway bridge collapsed. The federal police agency said the bridge had already been closed due to damage after the September 7 quake.

The state government said in a statement that homes collapsed, but “no human lives were lost”.

Rescue workers and emergency teams were forced to stop work when the latest aftershocks brought down more buildings.

Nataniel Hernandez said by phone from Tonala, in the southern state of Chiapas, which was also hit hard by the earlier quake, it was one of the strongest aftershocks he has felt.

“Since September 7 it has not stopped shaking,” he said.

US Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso said the new temblor was an aftershock of the 8.1 quake, and after a jolt of that size even buildings left standing can be more vulnerable.

“So, a smaller earthquake can cause the damaged buildings to fail,” he said.

Buildings swayed in Mexico City, where nerves are still raw from Tuesday’s magnitude-7.1 temblor that has killed at least 305 across the region.

Alejandra Castellanos was on the second floor of a hotel in a central neighbourhood of Mexico City and ran down the stairs and outside with her husband.

“I was frightened because I thought, not again!” she said.