An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 has struck the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, days after a more powerful tremor hit the same area, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck just before 0700 GMT on Monday, was about 20 miles (30km) north-east of the town of Santa Catarina Mechoacan. It had a depth of 130ft (40m).

Mexico EarthquakePeople fled their buildings after the earthquake alarm sounded in the Roma Norte neighbourhood of Mexico City, Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

On Friday, Mexico escaped major destruction from a magnitude 7.2 earthquake which shook southern and central parts of the country, though 13 people were killed when a helicopter sent to assess the damage crashed.

Mexico HelicopterThirteen people were killed when a helicopter carrying officials assessing damage from Friday’s earthquake crashed (Luis Alberto Cruz Hernandez/AP)

The epicentre of that quake was not far from the latest one.