GUATEMALA CITY – A powerful earthquake shook Guatemala on Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.
The quake struck at 1:29 p.m. local time (1929 GMT) and was centered 70 miles southwest of Guatemala City off the Pacific coast, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It gave a preliminary calculation of magnitude of 6.8.
Some landslides occurred in the southwest province of Escuintla, but there were no reports of injury or damage immediately after the quake, said Benedicto Giron, spokesman for the National Disaster Reduction Center.
But he added that phone service was knocked out in some areas and information was tricking in slowly.
The earthquake may have caused damage due to its location and size, the Geological Survey said.
The quake was felt strongly in neighboring El Salvador, where people ran into the streets in the capital of San Salvador, but the Red Cross there said it had no reports of damage or injury. It was also felt in the Mexican city of Tapachula along the Guatemalan border.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center based in Hawaii said no tsunami was expected from the quake.
The region is prone to earthquakes. Almost 23,000 people died in a 1976 earthquake.