Tsunami waves possible after El Salvador quake, warning centre says

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - A magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck late on Monday off the coast of El Salvador and Nicaragua and was felt across Central America, killing at least one person, but there were no immediate reports of major damage.  

El Salvador’s emergency services urged people living near the coast to move inland after placing a tsunami alert in effect. Nonetheless, they said via their Twitter account that coastal areas appeared calm.  

Wilfredo Salgado, mayor of the city of San Miguel in El Salvador, said on his Twitter account that a man was killed when an electricity post fell on him.

"It felt really powerful, suddenly the whole house started to move,” said Xiomara Amaya, 30, who lives in El Salvador’s department of Usulutan.  

The quake struck 67km west-southwest of Jiquilillo off the coast of San Salvador and Nicaragua, the US Geological Survey said.

It said the quake hit at a depth of 40km.  Emergency services in neighbouring Honduras and Guatemala said they had no early reports of damage or injuries.  

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at one point warned of possible tsunami waves in the region but then said there was no threat.