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6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Shakes El Salvador

Image: Collected

Image: Collected

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake shook El Salvador on Thursday night, with no initial reports of casualties or material damage, Salvadoran authorities said. 

The tremor was registered at 10:26 pm local time (0426 GMT Friday) and its epicentre was located 37 kilometres (22 miles) off the country's southern coast, near the town of Mizata in La Libertad region, the environment ministry said.  

President Nayib Bukele said there had been no reports of damage from the armed forces or police, reports AFP.

"Nothing new on the coast. No damage to the main highways. It seems the earthquake did not cause any damage. Thank god," he said on Twitter.

The earthquake was also felt in neighbouring Guatemala, according to that country's National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, which reported no people affected or damaged there.

The tremor was felt in at least 14 departments of El Salvador, per reports on social media, but the environment ministry said it was "more noticeable" in coastal areas.

In the capital San Salvador, the tremor caused alarm, with people leaving their homes and taking to the streets in many residential areas, according to local press reports.

Salvadoran Interior Minister Juan Carlos Bidegain said that while there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries, "the whole territory continues to be monitored." 

The government added that "all the institutions" of the system "are active" to address any emergencies resulting from the earthquake.

The environment ministry said that at least six aftershocks had been registered following the initial earthquake, with epicentres in the same area.

"The strongest aftershock has been with a magnitude of 3.8, so we call the population to be attentive," said Environment Minister Fernando Lopez at a press conference. 

The minister ruled out the possibility of a tsunami alert for coastal areas of the country after the earthquake.

He did, however, warn that more aftershocks could follow.

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