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7.4-quake kills 10 in Guatemala

Posted on Nov 08, 10:09AM | IANS

At least 10 people died in Guatemala Wednesday in a 7.4-magnitude quake that was also felt in Mexico and El Salvador.

The quake struck at 1635 GMT, with its epicentre in the Pacific Ocean, about 24 km from Champerico municipality in Guatemala, according to the USGS.

Guatemala has issued a tsunami alert, Xinhua reported. Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina said many houses and schools were destroyed.

Guatemala City, Jalapa, Jutiapa and Quiche, among other places, felt the quake that triggered landslides in many places. Some 73,000 homes were left without electricity.

In neighbouring Mexico, the intensity was recorded at 7.3 on the Richter scale. Thousands of people in Mexico City were evacuated from the offices and schools.

The tremor also prompted evacuation orders in Salvador.

This was the strongest quake to hit Guatemala since Feb 4, 1976 when a 7.5-magnitude tremor left nearly 23,000 people dead and over a million homeless.