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A magnitude 6.4 earthquake wakes people on the Mexico-Guatemala border

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TAPACHULA, Mexico (AP) — A strong earthquake shook the border of Mexico and Guatemala early Sunday, driving frightened residents into the streets.

The temblor struck just before 6 a.m. near the Mexican border town of Suchiate, where a river by the same name divides the two countries. The epicenter was just off the Pacific coast, 10 miles (16 kilometers) west-southwest of Brisas Barra de Suchiate, where the river empties into the sea.

The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 6.4, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and a depth of 47 miles (75 kilometers).

In Mexico, there were no immediate reports of damage, but more mountainous, remote parts of the border are prone to landslides.

Across the border Guatemala’s national disaster prevention agency shared photos of small landslides onto highways in the Quetzaltenango region and large cracks in walls in a hospital in San Marcos on its social media accounts, but there were no reports of deaths.

In Tapachula, near the border, civil defense brigades were moving through the city looking for signs of damage.

Didier Solares, an official with Suchiate’s Civil Defense agency, said so far they had not found damage.

“Luckily, everything is good,” Solares said. “We are talking with companies, to the (rural areas) via radio and there’s nothing, there’s no damage thank God,” he said.

The early morning quake still gave people a fright.

In the mountainous and picturesque colonial city of San Cristobal, the shaking was strong.

“Here we got up because we have the seismic alert service,” said resident Joaquin Morales. “The alert woke me up because it comes 30 seconds before (the quake).”

In Tuxtla Chico, a town near Tapachula, María Guzmán, a teacher said: “It was horrible, it felt strong. It was a real scare.”

Later Sunday, there was a swarm of at least two dozen small earthquakes in Mexico’s northern state of Baja California, near the U.S. border. The largest of the quakes was of 4.6 magnitude, while the majority were between between 2.5 and 3.7.

No immediate damage was reported in the sparsely populated region roughly 30 miles ( 50 kilometers) south of a relatively unpopulated area south of El Centro, California.

They did not appear related to the quake in Suchiate, which is almost 2,330 miles (3,750 kilometers) to the southeast.

By EDGAR M. CLEMENTE
Associated Press

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