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Deadly quake rocks Guatemala, is felt in Mexico City

Eduardo Verdugo / AP

People who work in office buildings along El Paseo de la Reforma stand outside Wednesday after evacuating their offices due to a Gautemala-centered earthquake felt in Mexico City.

Updated at 9:21 p.m. ET: A deadly earthquake off the Pacific coast of Guatemala on Wednesday has killed at least 48 people in two provinces, collapsed buildings, spurred landslides and rattled cities as far away as San Salvador and Mexico City.

Guatemala President Otto Perez Molina told an afternoon news conference that the dead are in the northwestern state of San Marcos near the Mexican border, where the majority of the damage occurred.

Earlier, he also said 100 people were missing and 76,000 were without electric power, NBC News reported.

Landslides blocked roads in some areas, authorities told Reuters, and about 40 houses were severely damaged.


The U.S. Geological Survey said the magnitude-7.4 quake struck 28 miles southwest of Champerico, Guatemala, near the border with Mexico. The epicenter was 25 miles below the surface.

CONRED, the government office for reduction of disasters in Guatemala, told NBC News an aerial evaluation of affected neighborhoods was being carried out amid reports of walls collapsing in homes and the loss of power and telephone services.

The manager of the Grand Tikal Futura Hotel in the capital, Guatemala City, told NBC News that she felt a "strong earthquake" but that the building had sustained no damage and guests were returning to their rooms.

A Reuters witness in Guatemala City said people were evacuating homes in parts of the capital, and firefighters and rescue workers were on alert. Office workers were also evacuating buildings in Mexico City and in the capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas, across the border from Guatemala.

"It was really big, I felt quite nauseous,'' secretary Vanessa Castillo, 32, who was evacuated from her 10th-floor office in Guatemala City, told Reuters.

Building janitor Jorge Gamboa said, "I was in the bathroom. When I came out the office was empty and I thought, 'what's happening? They didn't even say goodbye.'''

The U.S. Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said there was a possibility of a local tsunami, within 100 or 200 miles of the epicenter, but they were not issuing an immediate warning for the broader region.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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