The magnitude-7.1 quake struck central Mexico at 1:14 pm local time on Tuesday. The epicenter was near the town of Raboso, about 76 miles southeast of Mexico City, according to U.S. Geological Survey. It was the second quake to strike in 12 days — a magnitude 8.1 earthquake, which was felt as far as Mexico City and Guatemala City, hit 74 miles off the country’s southern coast on Sept. 7, killing more than 90 people. That was the most powerful quake to strike the country in a century.
Death toll rising
Mexico’s civil defense chief lowered the number of confirmed deaths to 217 on Wednesday. Luis Felipe Puente, the head of the national civil defense agency, had previously said at least 248 people were killed. At least 25 people — 21 of them children — died when the Enrique Rebsamen school in southern Mexico City collapsed. Parents and bystanders desperately tried to rescue survivors. According to Animal Politico, at least 30 children and eight adults are still missing.
MEXICO CITY — Rescuers resumed efforts to identify and help victims from a severe earthquake that struck Mexico earlier this week following a series of smaller but powerful quakes early Saturday.
The strongest aftershock, measuring 6.1 at 7:52 a.m. local time, struck 12 miles southeast of Matias Romero in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca.
Several other quakes followed in the region including a magnitude 5.2 at 8:24 a.m., a 5.0 at 8:25 a.m., a 4.8 at 9:01 a.m., a 4.8 at 9:18 a.m., a 4.9 at 9:27 a.m., and a 5.1 at 9.31 a.m., according to the National Seismologic Service in Mexico.
Bettina Cruz, a resident of Juchitan, Oaxaca, told the Associated Press by phone with her voice still shaking that the new quake felt “horrible.”
“Homes that were still standing just fell down,” Cruz said. “It’s hard. We are all in the streets.”
The country is still reeling from two still-more-powerful quakes this month — including a magnitude 8.1 quake on Sept. 7 — that have killed nearly 400 people.
Saturday’s magnitude 6.1 quake, also in Oaxaca, swayed buildings and set off a seismic alarm in the capital, prompting civil defense officials to temporarily suspend rescue operations in the rubble of buildings downed by Thursday’s magnitude 7.1 quake in central Mexico.
An earthquake alert system sounded at 7:53 a.m., sending still-shaken Mexico City residents into the streets — many still wearing pajamas and slippers.
Rescue efforts in the rubble of collapsed buildings in the capital were temporarily suspended, but have since resumed. Searchers were still combing the debris of a collapsed apartment complex in southern Mexico City some 90 hours after the Sept. 19 temblor. Rescuers said yesterday that a woman who was caught in her fourth-floor apartment was showing signs of life.
The quake was only felt lightly in the capital about 300 miles away though many were quick to heed the warning of a pending earthquake and later expressed fatigue on social media with a string of disasters striking the country.
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said there were no reports of significant new damage in the capital, and rescue efforts related to Tuesday’s quake were continuing. He reported that two people died of apparent heart attacks during Saturday’s new temblor.
Mexico Secretary of Communications and Transportation Gerardo Ruiz Esparza tweeted that Saturday’s quake destroyed the Ixtlaltepec bridge in Oaxaca which had been damaged by the earlier earthquake.