Powerful Earthquake Hits Oaxaca, Mexico

Powerful Earthquake Hits Oaxaca, Mexico

KMIR

A powerful earthquake shook south and central Mexico Friday, causing people to flee buildings and office towers in the country’s capital, and setting off quake alert systems.

Crowds of people gathered on central Reforma Avenue in Mexico City as the ground shook.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the quake’s preliminary magnitude at 7.2 and said its epicenter was 33 miles (53 kilometers) northeast of Pinotepa in Oaxaca state. It had a depth of 15 miles (24 kilometers).

The epicenter is a rural area of western Oaxaca state near the Pacific coast and the border with Guerrero state.

The Oaxaca state civil protection agency said via Twitter that it was monitoring the coastline.

Mexico is susceptable to major earthquakes because it sits near the boundaries of three fault lines. A magnitude 7.1 earthquake in central Mexico on Sept. 19 left 228 people dead in the capital and 369 across the region.

In 1985, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake reduced Mexico City to rubble, killing thousands.