Mexico City - A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck southern Mexico just before 8 am local time this morning, the third to hit the Republic over the last two weeks. The mighty quake sparked new panic in Mexico, where over 400 people have been killed by natural disasters since the beginning of September.
Saturday's quake was centered in Oaxaca state near Matias Romero, a town about 275 miles southeast of Mexico City. Roughly speaking, the epicenter was between the centers of this month's two more violent earthquakes - the 7.1 magnitude temblor that hit closer to the capital on Tuesday, killing more than 300 people; and the 8.1 magnitude quake that struck September 7 off the southern Pacific coast, near Chiapas state, in which almost 100 people were killed.
The National Seismological System said there were actually three tremors that registered over 5.0 on the Richter scale this morning, all of which were in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region of Oaxaca.
The epicenter of the 6.1 shaker was seven kilometers west of Unión Hidalgo. It was followed by a 5.2 at 8:24 am, whose epicenter was 17 kilometers northwest of Ixtepec, and a 5.0 at 8:25 am. Its epicenter was seven kilometers northeast of Juchitán, where much of the damage occurred as a result of the 8.1 earthquake on September 7.
The Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) said the quakes had interrupted electrical service to 327,000 homes and businesses in the state but service had been restored to 72% of them by 10:43. CFE head Jaime Hernández said on Twitter that damages were being assessed at two substations.
In nearby Asunción Ixtaltepec a bridge damaged on September 7 sustained further damages. Communications and Transportation Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Esparza tweeted this morning that the structure would have to be rebuilt.Sources: El Universal • Milenio