At least three dead in magnitude-7.1 earthquake off southern Mexico

A magnitude-7.1 earthquake on the Pacific Coast jolted a wide area of southern Mexico and Central America Monday. At least three people are reported dead and dozens of houses damaged in Guatemala. The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake hit at 6.23am on the Pacific Coast 1.5 kilometres north-northeast of Puerto Madero, near the Guatemala border. It initially calculated the magnitude at 7.1. The quake was centered 56 kilometres below the surface.

I thought the house was going to collapse.

Claudia Gonzales, 32, who ran to the street in the town of Comitan with her 1-year-old daughter.

Fire department spokesman Raul Hernandez said at least two people died in their homes from collapsed walls in the Guatemalan town of San Marcos near the Mexico border. Hernandez reported damage in at least 30 homes, as well as landslides and toppled utility poles. There were also reports of power outages and rock slides on some roadways in Guatemala. Photos posted online showed buildings with huge cracks across their facades in San Marcos.

Buildings were moving, windows broke in some houses and businesses, and people ran through the streets in the dark.

Omar Santos, Tapachula city employee