A 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck near the Guatemala-Mexico border early Wednesday killed at least one person and jolted people all the way north to Mexico City, hundreds of miles away.
The temblor struck just off Guatemala’s Pacific coast at 10:35 a.m. Eastern Time, about 14 miles south of Champerico, with an epicenter 25 miles below the surface, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center did not issue a regional tsunami warning, though said there was the slight risk of a local tsunami, according to Reuters.
Reuters also reported that eight people were injured in a building collapse in San Marcos, 101 miles west-southwest of Guatemala City, where the quake was also felt. The Associated Press reported at least one fatality, quoting the Guatemalan government’s Twitter feed.
Also in San Marcos, according to the AP, houses had collapsed onto residents, and smashed appliances were scattered in the streets. Tremors also reached San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador.
Fox News reported that several highways in western Guatemala had been cut off by landslides, quoting a radio station, and said President Otto Perez Molina had placed the country on high disaster alert and mandated evacuations from tall buildings, the latter as a precautionary measure.
Reuters and other news sources originally reported the quake as a 7.3 magnitude, which the USGS then changed to 7.5, then to 7.4 magnitude.