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Power outages, landslides after 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY -- Guatemala braced for more aftershocks on Saturday, a day after a strong 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck the south of the country, leading to power outages and landslides.

Officials said there were some two dozen aftershocks overnight, as they placed the nation on orange alert, one below the highest level red.

The temblor caused cuts in power, interruptions in phone service and landslides, and was felt as far away as neighboring El Salvador and in southern Mexico.

But there were no casualties reported from the quake, which according to U.S. seismologists struck 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from Pajapita, Guatemala at a depth of 67.7 kilometers at 0013 GMT Saturday.

Southeastern Mexico was also jolted by at least three aftershocks, including one with a magnitude of 6.1 felt near Ciudad Hidalgo, in the state of Chiapas, close to the Guatemalan border.

After the initial quake, residents had already evacuated their homes in several towns in the southern Mexican state while power was lost temporarily in Ciudad Hidalgo.

The Environmental Observatory in San Salvador said the quake was centered on the coast of Guatemala and Mexico, measuring its strength slightly lower at 6.3 on the Richter scale.

And the US Geological Survey said that the quake was just 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Suchiate, a municipality in the Mexican state of Chiapas, on the border with Guatemala.

A second tremblor, measuring 5.4 in magnitude, occurred seven minutes later, according to the USGS, with its epicenter in the Pacific waters of Guatemala.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez took to Twitter to say authorities were “conducting nationwide monitoring to assess the damage that may have been caused.”

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