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7.2 magnitude natural disaster rocks Mexico; two killed in chopper crash

18 February 2018

A magnitude-7.2 natural disaster sparked panic in Mexico on Friday, five months after hundreds of people were killed in two quakes.

A powerful magnitude-7.2 natural disaster shook south and central Mexico Friday, leaving at least 13 people dead and 15 others injured.

A state government official who was not authorized to be quoted by name said the chopper crashed into a group of people who had been spending the night in an open field, fearful of returning to their homes as aftershocks continued to shake the terrain hours later.

Then on September 19 - the 32nd anniversary of a huge 1985 quake that killed 10,000 people - another 7.1 quake rocked the country, leaving 369 people dead.

The Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto stated that National Civil Protection system protocols had been initiated.

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The US Geological Survey put the latest quake's epicenter 37 kilometers (22 miles) northeast of Pinotepa de Don Luis, in the southwestern state of Oaxaca. The magnitude of the quake was 7.2.

The natural disaster was first measured as a 7.5-magnitude and later lowered to having a 7.2-magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no reported casualties from the quake itself, which damaged buildings.

USGS seismologist Paul Earle said Friday's natural disaster appeared to be a separate temblor, rather than an aftershock of a September 7 quake in Oaxaca.

Later Friday, a magnitude 5.8 aftershock hit Oaxaca.

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The same city where the accident occurred also saw significant destruction from the natural disaster.

Emergency management authorities said there were no reports of major damage so far.

A 7.2-magnitude natural disaster that rattled Mexico on Friday triggered a tragedy when a minister's helicopter killed 13 people during a crash-landing on the way to the epicenter. Some were crying, while others hugged each other on the streets of the capital.

Aroud 270 people died a year ago when an 8.1 quake laid waste to Mexico City. It had a depth of 15 miles (24 kilometers).

"It lasted a long time, but it wasn't as strong", Barreno said.

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7.2 magnitude natural disaster rocks Mexico; two killed in chopper crash