Strong Earthquake Strikes Guatemala

Strong Earthquake Strikes Guatemala

A 6.6 magnitude earthquake has hit Guatemala's Pacific coastline, US seismologists say.

The US Geological Survey said the quake struck around three miles (6km) south of Pajapita, at a depth of 42 miles (68km).

Guatemala's fire department issued a statement saying a few poorly-built homes were destroyed in the town of Patzicia, located between the epicentre and the capital.

The quake was felt strongly in Guatemala City, the capital, and caused blackouts in some areas, but authorities have not reported any immediate injuries or damage.

"People living in Guatemala City's tall buildings were panicked," said Eddy Sanchez, director of Guatemala's National Institute of Seismology.             

The Central American nation's natural disaster agency said a major highway was blocked by a landslide.

The quake was also reportedly felt in neighbouring Mexico and El Salvador, but there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in both countries.

The tremor was one of the strongest in Guatemala since a 7.4 magnitude earthquake last November killed 44 people in the west of the country. It was the strongest in 36 years and left thousands of people homeless and without electricity or water.

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