Third earthquake hits Mexico
On 23 September, Mexico was hit by its third earthquake in four weeks. The 6.1 magnitude earthquake struck near Matias Romero in Oaxaca state, which had already been badly hit by the an earthquake that occurred on 8 September.
The worst damage was caused by the second earthquake, which struck 75 miles from Mexico City – one of the busiest cities in the world – on 19 September. It caused the most damage because it was close to a major city. At least 305 people died.
The Earth’s surface is broken up into about 12 pieces called major tectonic plates, which fit together like a jigsaw. The plates are constantly moving on top of magma – super-hot lava – and they sometimes grind against each other. When this happens, friction builds up between the plates until pressure is released. However, it is thought that a rupture in a tectonic plate caused Mexico’s earthquakes. Mexico lies on the Cocos tectonic plate, which means it is prone to earthquakes.
Thousands of volunteers, and the country’s army and police, worked to rescue people who were trapped under rubble from fallen buildings. People also gave away clothes, bedding and pet food.
Rescuers help out.