• Magnitude 7.0 earthquake shakes El Salvador

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    MEXICO CITY: A magnitude 7.0 earthquake shook El Salvador on Thursday and the strong quake was also felt across Central America in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

    The country’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources said on Twitter that a tsunami alert was initiated. In the hour following the quake, five aftershocks were felt in the same area.

    However, in the hours following the quake, no reports of damages or casualties were received, sea levels remained normal and the tsunami alert was lifted.

    The ministry did recommend on Twitter that swimmers, divers and fishermen should be alert for potential changes to currents in the next 24-48 hours.

    The quake was initially reported at 7.2 on the Richter scale but was lowered to 7.0 by the US Geological Service (USGS).

    The quake struck at a depth of 33 kilometers, some 154 km south-southwest of Puerto Triunfo in El Salvador, the USGS said.

    Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Lina Pohl, issued a short video on Twitter, confirming that no reports of damages had been received, asking people to remain calm and keep phone lines clear as much as possible.

    The quake was also felt across Central America in Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

    Nicaragua declared a national state of emergency on Thursday, but this was equally related to the Category 2 hurricane Otto entering its territory.

    “With the national emergency created by hurricane Otto, and by the earthquake which has just hit our shores, with unpredictable consequences…a state of national emergency has been declared across the country,” read a government statement.

    While Otto lashed the country with winds of up to 190 km/h, no damage was reported from the earthquake. PNA/Xinhua

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