13 Killed in Helicopter Crash While Visiting Site of Mexico’s Most Recent Earthquake
On Feb., 16 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific seaside town of Oaxaca, Mexico. No deaths or injuries have been reported.
The same region has experienced two earthquakes recently: an earthquake on Sept., 8 with a magnitude of 8.2 and an earthquake on Sept., 19 of a magnitude of 7.1, both of which took numerous lives.
All three earthquakes occurred in the same subduction zone, a zone in which one piece of the earth’s crust slides underneath another one. Seismologist speculate that an oceanic tectonic plate known as the Coco Plate is the culprit of the last three earthquakes. Located off the Pacific coast of Central America, the plate is sliding under the North American plate, creating seismic waves.
The government of Mexico alerted its citizens via Twitter: “Before returning to your homes, it is important to check if there are any damages. Turn off gas lines and disconnect energy sources.”
Approximately 200 homes have been damaged and various public buildings such as city hall and the main church in Santiago, Jamiltepec have been destroyed. Some individuals sustained minor injuries but no deaths have been caused by the earthquake.
Gladys Barreno Castro, a resident of Mexico City who experienced the Feb.,16 earthquake and the previous, more fatal one, told the Associated Press: “It [the earthquake] lasted a long time, but it wasn’t as strong. I didn’t think that it was going to destroy the city like last time.”
Many like Castro, who live in Mexico City are still scarred by the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck the capital, killing hundreds and reducing dozens of buildings to rubble.
Although there have been no recorded fatalities in Oaxaca, 13 individuals were killed in an unrelated helicopter crash. The helicopter was carrying the Minister of Interior Alfonso Navarrete Prida and Governor Alejandro Murat of Oaxaca. The helicopter was headed to the site of the earthquake.
The helicopter crashed on top of two vehicles. All of the deceased were reported to have been on the ground at the time of the crash. Three of the victims were children.
President Enrique Peña Nieto expressed his condolences via Twitter, “Secretary @navarreteprida and Governor @alejandromurat and the crew are fine. Unfortunately, various persons on the ground have lost their lives and others have been wounded. My condolences to their families and my wishes for a prompt recovery to those injured.”