6.5 quake hits southern Guatemala

Agence France-Presse
(UPDATED) The quake struck just 6 kilometers from Pajapita, Guatemala

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (2ND UPDATE) – A strong 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck parts of southern Guatemala and El Salvador on Friday (Saturday morning in the Philippines), US seismologists said, with only minor damage and no casualties immediately reported.

Guatemalan broadcast stations in the western part of the country lost power, according to reports. Landslides clogged up roads and there was slight damage to some homes.

Southeastern Mexico was also jolted by at least 3aftershocks, including one with a magnitude of 6.1 felt near Ciudad Hidalgo close to the Guatemalan border.

In the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, residents evacuated their homes in several towns while power was lost temporarily in Ciudad Hidalgo, a town bordering Guatemala.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the powerful 6.5 quake struck just six kilometers (3.7 miles) from Pajapita, Guatemala at a depth of 67.7 kilometers at 0013 GMT.

The Environmental Observatory in San Salvador said the quake was centered on the coast of Guatemala and Mexico, measuring its strength slightly lower at 6.3 on the Richter scale.

A second quake measuring 5.4 in magnitude occurred 7 minutes later, according to the USGS, with its epicenter in the Pacific waters of Guatemala.

“We have no reports of any damage,” so far, Jorge Melendez, El Salvador’s director of civil protection said on national radio.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez took to Twitter to say authorities were “conducting nationwide monitoring to assess the damage that may have been caused.”

The USGS said in its bulletin on the first quake that it was just 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Suchiate, a municipality in the Mexican state of Chiapas, on the border with Guatemala. -Rappler.com

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