Large earthquake strikes off Guatemala's Pacific coast

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Shake map showing epicenter and quake intensity.

At 19:29:46 UTC (2:29:46 local time), an earthquake estimated by the United States Geological Survey at a magnitude of 6.8 struck just off the Pacific coast of Guatemala, approximately 115 km (70 miles) south-southwest of Guatemala City. The USGS estimates the depth at 64.8 km (40.3 miles).

"It has not caused any damage, there is no damage reported," said emergency services spokesman for Guatemala's emergency response team, Benedicto Giron.

Despite the claims of no damage, the swaying of buildings, damages to houses, collapsing buildings and mudslides are being reported in Guatemala. Buildings also swayed in El Salvador. There are no reports of injures or deaths, but the USGS reports that damage in the area could be moderate to heavy.

"[There are] no reports of damage or casualties at this time; however, this earthquake may have caused damage due to its location and size," said a statement posted on the USGS website.

A Red Cross spokesman in El Salvador, Carlos Lopez says that there are no reports of damage or injuries in El Salvador.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a bulletin stating that there was little risk of a tsunami; the bulletin listed the magnitude of the earthquake at 7.0.

"The earthquake was too deep to generate a tsunami hazard. We don't think there is going to be a dangerous Pacific-wide tsunami but we will monitor the situation," said spokesman for the NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, David Walsh.

On June 8, a magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck off the coast of Guatemala in the same region 100 km (60 miles) south-southwest of Guatemala City.