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7.3 magnitude earthquake off El Salvador coast: USGS

14 october 2014, 15:25
0
©Reuters/Ivan Alvarado
©Reuters/Ivan Alvarado

A powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Central America late Monday, killing at least one person and prompting a brief tsunami warning, AFP reports.

Electricity was cut off in parts of El Salvador and walls crumbled, but there were no reports of widespread damage.

The quake hit in the Pacific Ocean 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of the capital San Salvador, at a depth of 70 kilometers (44 miles), the US Geological Survey said.

It gave the preliminary magnitude as 7.4 but later lowered it to 7.3.

The rumbling of the earth was felt along the Central American coast, stretching south to Nicaragua and Costa Rica and inland to Honduras.

In El Salvador, a man died when an electrical pylon fell on him in the city of San Miguel, its mayor Wilfredo Salgado told YSKL radio.

Crews were combing affected areas in search of more possible victims and to assess damage, Civil Protection chief Jorge Melendez said.

Walls of some buildings fell, the Salvadoran mayor said, but there were no other immediate reports of injuries.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for coastal areas located within 300 kilometres (190 miles) of the epicenter.

But minutes later it said it had lifted the warning.

"Any remaining threat should be evaluated by local authorities in impacted areas," the US agency said.

Electricity was knocked out in some eastern provinces of El Salvador, YSKL reported.

The tremor was felt in the Nicaraguan capital Managua and other cities, but no immediate injuries or damage were reported, officials said.

But Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega declared a preventive state of alert along the coast because of possible aftershocks.

Seaside residents were urged to seek higher ground, and classes in schools were canceled nationwide for Tuesday.

Electricity and cell phone service in some areas of Nicaragua were cut off.

In the port city of Corinto, people fled inland in cars or on foot, Radio Ya reported.

A 5.3 magnitude aftershock was felt in Costa Rica.


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