13 killed in helicopter crash after Mexican quake


A powerful magnitude-7.2 natural disaster shook south and central Mexico, causing people to flee swaying buildings and office towers in the country's capital, where residents were still jittery after a deadly quake five months ago.

No deaths were reported but many homes were damaged in Oaxaca, which, along with Mexico City, is still reeling from earthquakes that caused widespread damage in September.

There were no immediate reports of dead or injured, though a helicopter carrying Interior Minister Alfonso Navarrete as he surveyed the region crashed, killing two people.

The epicenter of the quake was near the Pacific coast, 2 kilometers east of Pinotapa de Don Luis, 148 kilometers southwest of Oaxaca, in the southern state of Oaxaca.

Mexican authorities are reporting damage in a southern town from Friday's magnitude 7.2 quake.

Powerful tremors rocked southern and central Mexico yesterday, causing panic as buildings shook and power was cut to a million people.

Initially, the Mexican Interior Ministry said via Twitter that two people were killed in the crash, noting that the senior officials survived.

Mr Navarrete told local media that "as the army helicopter we were travelling in tried to land, the pilot lost control, the helicopter fell and flipped".

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

It struck at 5:39 pm (2339 GMT) at a relatively deep 24.7 kilometers, said the USGS. "To be honest, we're all pretty upset". When I opened my eyes, I saw her eyes in terror. A nearby hospital evacuated patients into the street, some in wheelchairs or carting their IV lines.

Tremors were also felt as far away as Guatemala to the south.

Gladys Barreno Castro was at work on the 29th floor of a downtown office building in Mexico City, but recognized quickly that the shaking was not as violent this time.

"This time it was strong, but it did not jump up and down", she said.

Images from the scene showed collapsed buildings and rubble. People crowded in the streets, one lady in her pyjamas.

The quake was initially given a magnitude of 7.5 but was later revised down to 7.2. Ecuador's President Lenin Moreno said via Twitter "Mexico has suffered a new natural disaster of 7.5 degrees".