7.4 magnitude earthquake off El Salvador coast: USGS

SAN SALVADOR- A powerful earthquake of magnitude 7.4 struck in the Pacific off El Salvador late Monday, prompting a brief tsunami warning, US government agencies said.

The quake hit 170 kilometers (105 miles) southeast of the capital San Salvador, at a depth of 70 kilometers (44 miles), the USGS said.

It was felt along the Central American coast, stretching south to Nicaragua and Costa Rica and inland to Honduras.

Civil Protection authorities in El Salvador said there were not immediate reports of injuries or damage in that country.

The US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a warning for coasts located within 300 kilometres (190 miles) of the epicenter.

But minutes later it said it had lifted the warning.

“Any remaining threat should be evaluated by local authorities in impacted areas,” the US agency said.

Electricity was knocked out in some eastern provinces of El Salvador, Radio YSKL reported.

The shaking of the earth was felt for a few seconds in the Nicaraguan capital Managua and other cities, but no immediate injuries or damage were reported, officials said.

Electricity and cell phone service in some areas were cut off. The government urged coastal residents to move inland.

A 5.3 magnitude aftershock was felt in Costa Rica.