At least 2 dead as powerful quake jolts Mexico, Guatemala

At least 2 dead as powerful quake jolts Mexico, Guatemala

PanARMENIAN.Net - A magnitude-6.9 earthquake on the Pacific Coast jolted a wide area of southern Mexico and Central America Monday, July 7. At least two people are reported dead and dozens of houses damaged in Guatemala, the Associated Press reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 6:23 a.m. (7:23 a.m. EDT; 11:23 GMT) on the Pacific Coast 1 mile (2 kilometers) north-northeast of Puerto Madero, near the Guatemala border. It initially calculated the magnitude at 7.1 but later lowered the figure to 6.9.

Firefighters spokesman Raul Hernandez said at least two people died in their homes from collapsed walls in the Guatemalan town of San Marcos near the Mexico border. Hernandez reported damage in at least 30 homes, as well as landslides and collapsed utility poles.

There were reports of power outages in Guatemala as well.

In the Mexican state of Chiapas, where the quake was centered, panicked people poured into the streets and the Red Cross said it was treating some frightened adults and children.

"I thought the house was going to collapse," said Claudia Gonzales, 32, who ran to the street in the town of Comitan with her 1-year-old daughter.

The quake was felt across a broad swath of southern Mexico and as far away as Mexico City, but officials had no immediate reports of damage.

The quake was centered 37 miles (60 kilometers) below the surface.

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