MANAGUA – Nicaraguan authorities on Thursday suspended the tsunami alert they had announced after the magnitude-7.2 earthquake struck the country’s northern Pacific coastal region earlier in the day, although its epicenter was in El Salvador.
The tsunami alert along the Pacific coast has now been cancelled, the assistant director of the Sinapred national disaster prevention agency, Guillermo Gonzalez, said at a press conference.
He said that the authorities were proceeding with demobilization in the coastal communities where the alert had been in effect.
“We’re lifting what was the emergency due to the earthquake” and the potential tsunami, “but we’re continuing the hurricane alerts,” Gonzalez said, referring to Hurricane Otto, which is dumping torrential rain in southeastern Nicaragua.
A magnitude-7.2 earthquake, with its epicenter in El Salvador, rocked Central America shortly after noon on Thursday, but no injuries or damage have been reported, the Salvadoran Environment and Natural Resources Ministry said.
The temblor, which occurred at 12:43 p.m., was felt across El Salvador, as well as in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
People evacuated buildings across El Salvador as a precaution against collapses.
The government of Nicaragua had declared a state of emergency to deal with the quake and Hurricane Otto, which made landfall on Thursday on the southeastern coast.
Residents of Honduras felt the earthquake, but the emergency management office there did not issue a tsunami alert.
The earthquake had a minimal effect in Costa Rica, where officials said it was felt slightly in the capital, San Jose.
In Guatemala, where the temblor was felt across the country, seismographs registered the earthquake’s magnitude at 6.9, but officials said there were no reports yet of injuries or damage.
Guatemala, like its neighbors in Central America, regularly experiences earthquakes caused by shifts in the Earth’s tectonic plates.