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November 7, 2012

Breaking news : 7.3 Earthquake in Guatemala leaves 39 dead

A strong earthquake has shaken Tuesday the Pacific coast of Guatemala, Mexico and El Salvador. With a magnitude of 7.2 on the Richter scale, the north-west of Guatemala has borne the brunt. There are at least 39 dead, 15 trapped under the rubble, rescue work in which the bodies of emergencies, and 100 people missing, reported the president of Guatemala, Otto Perez, in a message to the nation through radio and television.

The Seismological Institute reported that the duration of the earthquake was over 30 seconds and that its epicenter was in the Pacific Guatemala. The president, who appeared accompanied by his Defense Minister Ulises Anzueto, and Interior, Mauricio Lopez Bonilla, said that the earthquake is "the most intense since the earthquakes that February 4, 1976 rocked Guatemala" that took the lives of 23,000 people and left more than 1 million homeless.

The authorities have declared a red alert across the country. Perez has insisido where data are still provisional because of the damage sustained by the telephone network and roads, which complicated communications. The interior minister added that 98 prisoners from the jail in San Marcos have been moved to Quetzaltenango for the significant damage suffered criminal structure.

The province has been the hardest hit of San Marcos, which borders Mexico. There are many houses have collapsed and a school. Eight people, including teachers and students have had to be taken to hospital by emergency services working in the area. According to official information, the other departments that have been damaged and are Quetzaltenando Solola, in the indigenous highlands, and Guatemala, in the center of the country.

The quake, recorded at 10.35 local time (16.35 GMT), was centered about 200 kilometers southwest of Guatemala City off the beaches of Champerico, in the southern department of Retalhuleu. Soon after, Nicaragua has issued a tsunami alert and requested the evacuation of coastal areas.

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