MEXICO CITY -- At least three people were reportedly killed in Guatemala after a powerful earthquake shook the Central American country Wednesday morning.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported that the quake, which registered magnitude 7.4, occurred at 10:35 a.m. CST along the northern part of Guatemala's Pacific coast, about 100 miles west-southwest of Guatemala City.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina declared a "national red alert," suspending public activities and recommending that buildings be evacuated. The Mexican newspaper Milenio reported that three people had been found dead under the rubble in the Guatemalan city of San Pedro Sacatepequez -- along the country's border with Mexico -- where at least 40 houses had been destroyed by the temblor.
Guatemalan media reported downed phone lines, lost power and damaged buildings in various parts of the country.
The quake was also felt in numerous areas of Mexico, including parts of Mexico City, where some buildings were evacuated. However, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard tweeted in the early afternoon that the city was "without harm."
-- Richard Fausset
Photo: Crowds of people gather at a meeting point in Mexico City on Wednesday after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Guatemala near the Mexican border. Credit: Mario Guzman / EPA