Guatemala president: quake kills 39

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Guatemala's president says he has been informed that the death toll in a 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck off the Pacific coast has risen to 39 people.

President Otto Perez Molina says the dead are in the northwestern state of San Marcos near the Mexican border, where the majority of the damage occurred.

He spoke to a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

It shook buildings in Guatemala City and was strong enough to send people running into the streets as far away as Mexico City.

A reporter in the town of San Marcos, about 80 miles north of the epicenter, told a local radio station that houses had collapsed with people inside. Fire officials say a school also collapsed and eight injured people had been taken to a nearby hospital.

Nicaragua's disaster agency has issued a local tsunami alert, but so far there have been no reports of a tsunami.

El Salvador's Civil Protection agency said officials were evacuating some coastal communities as a precautionary measure.

USGS report