6.9-magnitude Quake Rocks Mexico; 3 Dead, Among Them a Newborn, Injures 32 (PHOTOS)

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa
July 8, 2014 10:36 AM EST

6.9-magnitude Quake Rocks Mexico; 3 Dead, Among Them a Newborn, Injures 32 (PHOTOS)

At least three people have died, among them a newborn boy, after a strong 6.9-magnitude shook the border between Guatemala and Mexico on Monday. The temblor injured 32 others, damaged dozens of buildings, toppled down power lines as well as triggered landslides.


The quake struck at 6:23 a.m. (7:23 a.m. EDT; 11:23 GMT) on the Pacific Coast 1 mile (2 kilometres) north-northeast of Puerto Madero, near the Guatemala border, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


Initially gauging the magnitude at 7.1 but later lowered the figure to 6.9, the agency said  the temblor's epicentre was on the Pacific Coast of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, near a border town called Puerto Madero, 40 miles below the surface.


The quake was felt as far north as Mexico City, through central Guatemala and as far south as El Salvador, the Los Angeles Times reported.


"I thought the house was going to collapse," 32-year-old mother Claudia Gonzales, who ran to the street in the town of Comitan with her 1-year-old baby daughter, told AP.


The fatalities, among them a newborn male, died crushed by the ceilings that collapsed over them, fire department spokesman Raul Hernandez said.


"With the reports we have so far, we can say this quake has caused moderate damage. It's not light damage," Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said at a news conference, adding there were over 80 homes damaged, 40 of them severely.


Many of the injured got hurt because of head injuries, and 41 houses were severely damaged, Perez said. A further 39 houses suffered lighter damage, and 36 people in the municipality of San Sebastian Huehuetenango were evacuated, he added.


"This quake was pretty strong. Families in the area are really scared because of the whole experience of November 2012," San Marcos governor Luis Rivera said.


CNN reported part of an airport in Tapachula, a Mexican city of about 300,000 people near the Guatemala border got damaged. "Lights hung precariously by wires, and debris littered a floor, pictures that the city government posted to Twitter show."

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