Aftershocks rattled Mexico over the weekend, as rescuers continued to search for survivors of Tuesday’s earthquake, the country’s deadliest in 32 years.
The latest tremor, of 5.9 magnitude, struck on Sunday off the west coast, with its epicentre 99 km southwest of Tonala, in Chiapas, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said. There were no immediate reports of significant damage.
Aftershocks on Saturday spread fear among the already traumatised population, and a plume of ash spewed from the Popocatepetl volcano in another reminder of the country’s volatile geology.
In the capital Mexico city, hopes of pulling people alive have faded by the hour.
Frustration with authorities has also grown among the thousands who lost their homes — now left sleeping in makeshift shelters or right on the street, anxiously holding pictures of their missing loved ones.
“We’ve been here since Tuesday. We haven’t received any news. We’ve been here for 24 hours and haven’t gotten any sleep. And no one has come to give us either good or bad news [...] I haven’t seen anybody pulled out of the rubble,” said Juan Pedro Jimenez, relative of a missing person in a collapsed building.
Tuesday’s 7.1-magnitude quake has killed at least 318 people and flattened dozens of buildings. The country’s deadliest since a 1985 tremor killed thousands, it was also the second major earthquake to strike Mexico this month.
Volunteers hailed as heroes
With Mexico facing a presidential election next year, the government’s response to the disaster is under close scrutiny.