Authorities confirm a 6.9-magnitude earthquake rocked the southern state of Chiapas early this morning, killing at least one person in Mexico and three in Guatemala.
The quake was recorded at 6:23 a.m. (7:23 a.m. ET) about one mile from Puerto Madero along the Pacific coast. State civil protection services said that one person was killed in the Chiapas town of Huixtla after a wall fell on him.
According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), strong tremors from the earthquake were felt from southern Chiapas to Mexico City and into western Guatemala and El Salvador. The quake has damaged part of the Tapachula airport, set off mudslides, cracked open buildings and disrupted communications.
Raul Hernandez, a firefighter spokesman, said that at least two people were killed in the town of San Marcos, Guatemala, however, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina updated the situation, saying that 33 people have been hurt, most with head injuries, and at least three people have been killed, including a new born. The baby boy died when a hospital ceiling collapsed. Two area residents of San Marcos died when their homes collapsed.
“With the reports we have so far, we can say this quake has caused moderate damage. It’s not light damage,” Perez said at a news conference.
Claudia Gonzales of Comitan, Chiapas, fled into the street with her 1-year-old daughter: “I thought the house was going to collapse,” she said.
The epicenter of the quake was about 204 kms (127 miles) west of Guatemala city. USGS says the depth of the quake was recorded at a depth of 37 miles. The earthquake was initially reported as a 7.1-magnitude quake.