Magnitude 6.9 quake reported near Tajumulco, Guatemala

A strong natural disaster hit southwestern Guatemala near the border with Mexico in the early hours of Wednesday (June 14), killing one person after a church collapsed and cutting power, officials said.

"We greatly mourn the loss of lives", Morales said.

A strong 6.9-magnitude tremor struck eight kilometers southwest of Tajumulco, Guatemala - a small town near the Mexico-Guatemala border.

Guatemala's emergency coordination agency said the quake struck at 1:29 a.m. local time (3:29 EDT) in the department of San Marcos west of the capital near the Mexican border, but was felt throughout the country.

The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) reported that as a result of the quake a 40-year-old man was impacted in the skull by remains of an old church in the village of San Sebastián, department of Retalhuleu (southwest).

The quake hit 15km west-northwest of the city of San Marcos, at around 1.30am local time (0730 GMT) at a relatively deep 111 km, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported.

Schools in the affected region have been closed for the day while building inspections are carried out.

One death was reported earlier but that was later denied by state Civil Protection officials.

Chiapas Governor Manuel Velasco said an investigation is underway to determine whether there are any casualties.

There was no immediate warning of any tsunami.

  • Salvatore Jensen