Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake Shakes Southern, Central Mexico

Magnitude 7.2 Earthquake Shakes Southern, Central Mexico
A powerful earthquake shook southern and central Mexico on 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 in 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 September 19 left 228 people dead in the capital and 369 across the region.