Minor damage has been reported in southern Guatemala following a 6.8-magnitude earthquake that struck off the Pacific coast on Thursday, June 22. One non-life-threatening injury was also reported. The epicenter was situated approximately 40 km (25 mi) from Puerto San José, located in the extreme south of the country (Escuintla department). One of the areas most affected was the city of Antigua Guatemala.
Various low-intensity aftershocks have since been reported and more are likely in the coming hours and days. As much of the ground has been saturated by recent torrential rains, there are fears that further tremors could cause landslides in hilly areas.
Guatemala is located along the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and earthquakes strike the country relatively frequently. Thursday’s quake comes just over a week after a 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the southwestern coast on June 14. That epicenter was located approximately 8 km (5 mi) southwest of Tajumulco (San Marcos department) and resulted in several deaths and material damage, provoking landslides that blocked highways.
Individuals in the area are advised to be prepared for further aftershocks.
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