Guatemala hit by 7.5 magnitude earthquake


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The Independent US

The US Geological Survey says a strong earthquake has hit off the Pacific coast of Guatemala.

The quake rocked the capital Guatemala City and shook buildings as far away as Mexico City and El Salvador.

The magnitude-7.5 quake, about 20 miles deep, was centred off the town of Champerico.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre said there was a possibility of a local tsunami, within 100 or 200 miles of the epicentre, but they were not issuing an immediate warning for the broader region.

People fled buildings in Guatemala City, in Mexico City and in the capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas, across the border from Guatemala.

A reporter in the town of San Marcos, about 80 miles north of the epicentre, told local radio station Emisoras Unidas that houses had collapsed on to residents and smashed televisions and other appliances had been scattered into the streets.

The local fire department said on its Twitter account that a school had collapsed and eight injured people had been taken to a nearby hospital.

The mayor of Mexico City said no serious damage or injuries had been reported in the city, although many people had fled their offices and homes during the quake.