Mexico Struck By Second Major Earthquake In Two Weeks (Photos)

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Mexico has been hit by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake.  The seismic event comes less than two weeks after an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast on Sept. 8, making this Mexico's second major earthquake in a single month.

The temblor occurred on Sept. 19 at 1:14 p.m., approximately 75 miles from Mexico City in the town of Raboso, the Miami Herald reports.  Although smaller in magnitude than the earlier quake, significantly more individuals were reported dead by the evening.

Miami Herald also reports that, unlike the last earthquake, which claimed 90 lives, at least 119 people have died thus far.  The increased number of casualties may be partially attributable to the fact that the quake occurred on land as opposed to in the ocean.

According to The New York Times, the event is Mexico's most deadly earthquake since a 1985 earthquake that killed nearly 10,000 people.  

Iin a strange twist, today's earthquake marks the 32-year anniversary of the one in 1985.

Mexican President Enrique Pena-Nieto had attended a memorial for the victims of the 1985 earthquake on the morning of Sept. 19, The New York Times reports.  He later announced on Twitter that he had been flying to Oaxaca at the time the quake hit.  Pena-Nieto immediately returned to Mexico City.

For those on the ground of the nation's capital, the shaking was more intense than the Sept. 7 quake.

"It's like Sodom and Gomorrah, like God is angry at us," said 66-year-old government employee Jorge Ortiz, The New York Times reports. "Now is the moment when solidarity begins."

The devastation was palpable in the moments following the quake -- several buildings were toppled, 44 of which were in Mexico City, and citizens feared returning to the ones that stood.

"I can't believe I'm alive," said Talia, 28, as medics pulled shards of glass from her foot.

Along with those injured came those who were willing to help.  Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancerra said that 50 to 60 people were saved by rescue workers, the Miami Herald reports.

At least 30 individuals died in Mexico City while another 54 perished in Morelos, to the south.  Chief Disaster Strategist Carlos Valdes said that 26 people died in Puebla state, where the earthquake's epicenter was located.

The New York Times reports that, like the last earthquake, the most recent one occurred at the subduction zone of the North American and Cocos tectonic plates.

U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle said that the epicenters of September's two earthquakes were about 400 miles apart, although it was too early for him to say whether the incidents were connected.

The Miami Herald reports that according to Earle, 19 earthquakes of magnitude 6.5 or larger have occurred within 155 miles of the Sept. 19 earthquake. About 15 to 20 earthquakes of that magnitude happen globally per year.

Sources: Miami Herald, The New York Times / Featured Image: Carport/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Eduardo Verdugo and Rebecca Blackwell/AP via Miami Herald

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