Strong earthquake shakes Mexico

Mexico City: A powerful earthquake if 7.2 magnitude rocked south and central Mexico on Friday, forcing residents on to the streets as homes and buildings shook and went without power, Mexico’s Notimex news agency reported.

The epicentre of the quake was 53 km northeast of Pinotepa in southern Oaxaca state. Reports said tremors were felt as far away as Guatemala to the south. The Oaxacan town of Jamiltepec appeared to sustain the heaviest impact in the southern region.

President Enrique Peña Nieto said the National Civil Protection system protocols had been activated. The quake revived memories of September 19 earthquake that left nearly 400 people dead in the across the region. The quake gave way to more than 225 aftershocks, the national seismology service said, and caused widespread panic.

In Mexico City and Oaxaca State’s capital, crowds of people streamed out as sirens blared. Videos on social media showed buildings shaking and trees, overhead cables and cars swaying. About 100,000 people in Oaxaca had lost power, the state’s governor said.

Reports said two people died when a helicopter carrying Mexico’s interior minister and the governor of Oaxaca crashed while trying to land after a tour of damage from the earthquake. The officials survived.

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