Guatemala Earthquake: Deadly 7.5 Quake Collapses Houses, Tsunami Warning In Effect

By Amir Khan on November 7, 2012 3:34 PM EST

Guatemala
Zunil, a city in Guatemala (Photo: Creative Commons)

Guatemala was struck by a strong 7.5 earthquake Wednesday morning, sending shocks throughout the small Central American country and up through Mexico. The Guatemala earthquake hit near the Pacific Coast, and early reports already confirm at least one dead.

The United States Geological Society immediately issued a tsunami warning for the area within 200 miles of the epicenter, but said it was not concerned of a larger, more destructive tsunami hitting other areas. The quake, located about 20 miles deep, was centered 100 miles southwest of Guatemala City.

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"I've been in Guatemala for almost two years I am used to earthquakes. This was a lot more severe, a lot more shaky," Peace Corps volunteer Adam Baker told the Huffington Post. "Things fell in my kitchen."

Houses in San Marcos, a mountainous town in the country, collapsed onto residents, according to the Associated Press, and a local fire department reported a school collapse with eight injured. Widespread power outages were also reported.

"People are in distress and no one can calm down," a Guatemalan resident who identified herself only as Mrs. Baglia, told the AP.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina placed the country in its highest level of disaster alert and asked residents to evacuate tall buildings as a safety precaution. The country's minister of communications and infrastructure said landslides closed off highways to the west, and that it would take at least 24 hours to clear a path to San Marcos.

We will update this post with more information as we get it.

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