Mexico was rocked by two more large earthquakes on September 23. As the nation continues to struggle after two other large tremors earlier this month, people in Oaxaca, a state in the southern region of the country, ran for cover as the ground shook beneath their feet on Saturday.
Likely aftershocks, the first of two major quakes hit Mexico early Saturday morning. Striking about 300 miles southeast of Mexico City, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook residents in the town of Matias Romero.
The earthquake in Mexico destroyed a highway bridge and damaged multiple homes and buildings in Oaxaca. According to a report from the New York Post, the tremor killed one person and injured seven others.
“Homes that were still standing just fell down,” said Bettina Cruz. “It’s hard. We are all in the streets.”
Still reeling from a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday, residents in Mexico City also felt the movement of Saturday morning’s tremor. While the huge aftershock frightened victims and interrupted rescue operations, no new damage has been reported by Mexico City authorities.
Reports of rising smoke and ash from Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano surfaced after Saturday’s earthquake in Mexico. However, scientists believe the small eruption is a coincidence and not related to the recent seismic activity in the area.
On Saturday evening around 7 p.m. Eastern, a second, 4.5-magnitude earthquake rattled Mexico. No reports of additional damage or injuries have been reported from this aftershock.
The 7.1 earthquake on Tuesday killed over 300 people, most in Mexico’s capital city. Despite the ongoing threat of more aftershocks, rescue workers continue efforts to find and assist victims buried under toppled buildings.
“Our first phase is rescue and humanitarian aid,” said Luis Felipe Puente, Mexico’s civil protection coordinator, as reported by CNN. “Until we are absolutely certain that there are no more people missing, we will continue our search and rescue mission.”
Millions are still without electricity while thousands of residents remain in shelters. Schools will stay closed until further notice. Engineers throughout the area are scrambling to inspect buildings as fast as possible to assess the structural damage before allowing people back in.
Seismologists have recorded thousands of aftershocks in Mexico since the initial 8.2-magnitude quake that shook the Oaxaca region on September 7. Several of them, like the two on Saturday, have been incredibly powerful and measured by equipment in California and as far away as Montana.
[Featured Image by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images]