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A powerful earthquake rocked the southern region of Mexico and Central America early Sunday morning, killing five people and leaving many stranded between collapsed buildings.

According to USA Today, the earthquake was originally reported as a 7.1 near Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico, but the Geological Survey later labeled the quake a less severe 6.9.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the temblor, which hit at about 7:23 a.m ET, was centered about a mile northeast of the town of Puerto Madero near the Guatemala border.

The quake was felt through Mexico City, El Salvador, and Guatemala, where the most damage was done.

Firefighters spokesman Raul Hernandez said at least two people were killed and 21 injured when their homes collapsed in the Guatemalan town of San Marcos. Another woman in Quetzaltenango died from a heart attack, and Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said a newborn had been killed by a falling ceiling in a San Marcos hospital.

The earthquake also brought back chilling memories from 2012, when a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the same area, killing 48 people.

“This quake was pretty strong. There are houses destroyed,” Luis Rivera, governor of the San Marcos region, told Reuters.

There were no injures or deaths reported in Mexico City, but Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina evacuated over 40 schools in the areas where the ‘quake hit the worst.

In a national address, Perez Molina said 36 people were evacuated from badly damaged homes in western Guatemala, and 44 schools reported varying degrees of destruction. One major highway from the city of Quetzaltenango was completely blocked by a landslide, and water systems in San Marcos were cut off when pipes fractured, he said.

School was suspended for the day as officials continue to tend to the injured. There have been no missing reports filed as of yet.


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