Guatemala rocked by 6.8-magnitude earthquake; no major damage reported

GUATEMALA CITY- A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck around 6:31 a.m. Thursday (8:31 a.m. EDT) off Guatemala’s Pacific coast, the US Geological Survey reported, causing some minor damage.

The quake occurred 23.7 km (14.7 miles) southwest of the city of Puerto San José and had a depth of 28 km (28.5 miles), according to the USGS.

One of the areas that suffered damage was Antigua Guatemala, the onetime colonial capital of Guatemala and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, according to CONRED, the country’s emergency management system.

Founded in 1527, Antigua Guatemala survived many natural disasters until an earthquake destroyed most of the city in 1773, according to UNESCO. The capital was moved to present-day Guatemala City, but the monuments and architecture of the old capital earned it the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1979.

Photos shared by emergency responders Thursday showed damage to the facade of some buildings and debris on some streets of Antigua Guatemala.

A spokesman for CONRED said there are no early reports of injuries.

On Twitter, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales urged residents to remain calm and said more information would be given soon.

Light shaking was felt as far north as the Mexico City of Tuxtla Gutiérrez.

Last week, a deeper earthquake of similar magnitude struck the interior of Guatemala, killing at least two people and damaging buildings.