May 21st, 2024

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


By Edgar M. Clemente, The Associated Press on May 12, 2024.

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.”

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