6.1-magnitude quake rattles Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY (AFP) - A 6.1-magnitude earthquake hit several towns in south and central Guatemala on Friday (Jan 15), with no immediate reports of damage or casualties, officials said.

It struck at 10.10am local time with its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean, Emilio Barillas of the Insivumeh seismology institute told reporters.

The quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometres some 113km from the nearest coastal town, he added.

The shake was felt in settlements on the south coast, as well as in the central region around the capital Guatemala City, said David de Leon, spokesman for the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction (Conred).

"At the moment, there are no reports of personal or material damage," said the spokesman, although verification on the ground was ongoing.

The Central American country is in a risk zone for earthquakes, located at a meeting of three tectonic plates.

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