Strong Quake Shakes El Salvador

A strong earthquake rattled El Salvador (search) on Monday, knocking out telephone service, but no injuries were reported.

The national seismological service said that the quake, which hit at 9:23 a.m. (10:23 a.m. EST), had a magnitude of 6.1 and was centered near Los Cobanos beach (search), about 55 miles south of the capital. The U.S. National Earthquake Information Center (search) in Golden, Colo., calculated the magnitude at 5.9.

Thousands of frightened people fled into the streets and the government ordered the temporary evacuation of tall buildings.

The earthquake knocked out telephone service in San Salvador, but local radio stations reported no damage or injuries.

Strong earthquakes in El Salvador in 2001 killed thousands of people.