Six killed in Mexico, Guatemala quakes (Fourth Lead)

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Mexico City/Guatemala City, Sep 8 (IANS) At least six people were killed as two powerful earthquakes measuring 8.1 and 7.3 jolted Mexico and Guatemala, respectively, on Friday, media reported.

Three people were killed when a house collapsed in the city of San Cristobal de las Casas and two children died in the state of Tabasco, Efe news quoted Mexico’s Interior Ministry officials as saying.

Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales confirmed that there was at least one death in the country but did not give any further details.

The quake struck 120 km off the Pacific Coast at 12.49 a.m., southwest of Tres Picos, Mexico, which is 1,000 km southeast of Mexico City, the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

It was close to both the states of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, and Oaxaca in the Middle America trench, reports CNN.

At least 12 aftershocks with tremors measuring above 5.0 in magnitude and a fifth at 4.9 were recorded and some 23,000 people likely experienced the violent shaking, according to the USGS.

In Guatemala, a number of houses were damaged and many people sustained injuries in the 7.3 quake that hit the country just hours after the one in Mexico.

The Guatemalan Army said it had deployed troops to ascertain the damage caused by the tremor.

Meanwhile, a tsunami was confirmed in Mexico, with one wave coming in at 3 feet, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre’s verified account.

The Centre immediately issued a tsunami warning and advised the public that waves could hit the coasts of Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and even Ecuador.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto tweeted: “Civil protection protocols are activated, including the National Emergency Committee.”

Mexico CIty Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said parts of the capital were without any electricity.

Tremors were felt across many other Central American countries.

The quake comes a few days before the anniversary of the earthquake of September 19, 1985, that killed over 40,000 people in Mexico City.

Mexico is currently also being threatened on its eastern coast by Hurricane Katia, BBC reported.

The category 1 hurricane is about 300 km south-east of Tampico and has sustained winds of 140km/h, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.

–IANS

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