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Magnitude-7.2 earthquake slams south, central Mexico

A powerful earthquake has shaken south and central Mexico, causing people to flee buildings and office towers in the country's capital, and setting off quake alert systems. (Image credit: MGN Online)

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.

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake in central Mexico on Sept. 19 left 228 people dead in the capital and 369 across the region.

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