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Toll from Guatemala quake may rise

100 people missing, 15 trapped, 125,000 without power

CHAMPERICO, Guatemala | November 7, 2012

A magnitude-7.4 earthquake that killed at least three people in Guatemala was followed Wednesday by a slightly weaker earthquake, seismologists said.

Both quakes hit near the border between Guatemala and Mexico, CNN reported. The earlier quake was felt as far away as Mexico City.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said at least three deaths had been confirmed, all of them people trapped under houses that collapsed in San Pedro Sacatepequez, the Los Angeles Times said. The president said 100 people were believed to be missing, 15 trapped in damaged or collapsed buildings and 125,000 without electricity, while there were unconfirmed reports of 15 more deaths, CNN said.

The first quake was the strongest in the country since 1976, when an earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale killed 23,000 people.

Quakes in the magnitude-7 range are considered major while those between 5 and 5.9 are moderate. The second quake hit just before 3 p.m., 3 hours after the first and was centered about 10 miles to the south-southwest.

A minor tsunami in the Pacific Ocean was also reported by the United Nations agency UNESCO, but there had been no reports of excessive wave activity or damage in other areas.

2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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