Latest Mexico quake spreads alarm, some rescue efforts suspended

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – A magnitude 6.2 earthquake that shook southern Mexico on Saturday spread fear in the capital and frustrated rescuers, some of whom were forced to suspend the search for survivors of an earlier, bigger tremor.

The United States Geological Survey said the new quake was relatively shallow with an epicenter near Juchitan, a tropical region of Oaxaca state hard hit by another major earthquake on Sept 7.

In Mexico City, where the tremors were mild, no new damage was reported. But rescue efforts at a collapsed residential building in the Tlalpan neighborhood of Mexico City were suspended because of a risk that buildings already damaged by Tuesday’s quake would collapse.

At least 305 people died in the quake on Tuesday.

Rescue workers in brightly colored hard hats stood around awaiting further instructions.

“We hear that there are possibly more people alive, but the clock is ticking and they are injured and dehydrated,” said Jose Juan Sanchez, 28, a crane operator who had been helping to clear rubble. “It’s frustrating not being able to do anything.”

At other sites, soldiers and volunteers continued efforts to reach quake victims even after seismic alarms rang out in the city, sending thousands of startled residents running out onto the streets, many in pajamas, shortly before 8 a.m. (1300 GMT).

In Oaxaca, another smaller earthquake was felt at 8:24 a.m. (1324 GMT). President Enrique Pena Nieto said a bridge near Juchitan collapsed along with other infrastructure weakened by the earlier tremors.

In a Mexico City shelter housing those who have lost their homes in the quakes, people stood in a circle and prayed after the alarm sounded on Saturday.

Near a collapsed office building in the trendy Roma district, the earthquake alarm sounded twice and people gathered in the street for about five minutes, but calm prevailed and normal activity resumed in about five minutes.

When Tuesday’s 7.1 magnitude quake hit, Mexico was already reeling from the Sept. 7 earthquake that killed at least 98 people and was the strongest in the country in 85 years.

Members of rescue teams search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed building after an earthquake in Mexico City, Mexico September 23, 2017. REUTERS/Henry Romero

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