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Wednesday, Sep 28th

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Three earthquakes hit Guatemala

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Guatemala hit by earthquakesThree earthquakes struck southern Guatemala Monday within 90 minutes, shaking buildings in the capital and killing three people.

The quakes struck near Guatemala's southwestern coast in the sugar cane-growing region around Santa Rosa, forcing the evacuation of about 400 people and cutting electricity and telephone services, emergency services said.

One woman was killed when her house collapsed in the town of Cuilapa, near the epicenter of the quakes, and two others died after their cars were buried in a landslide on the highway.

"In Chiquimulilla, there's a landslide ... where vehicles fell in and were buried. There are material damages to the vehicles and two fatalities reported so far," volunteer fire brigade spokesman Mario Morales said.

An initial 4.8 magnitude quake was followed about half an hour later by a second quake of 5.8 magnitude, the U.S. Geological Survey said. There was a third, smaller one after that. The epicenters of the quakes were east and northeast of Cuilapa and the larger one had a depth of 25 miles, the USGS said. They shook buildings in Guatemala City, about 33 miles away.

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