EL SALVADOR, Feb 13 (AP/FoxNews) -
A 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck El Salvador on Tuesday morning, killing at least 127 people and adding to the destruction caused by last January's temblor, in which more than 800 died.
Along with the at least 127 people killed — more than 1,200 were injured, according to Salvadoran Red Cross spokesman Carlos Lopez. He said there were numerous reports of landslides that could add to the death toll.
Tuesday's earthquake struck a nation still reeling after a 7.6-magnitude earthquake on Jan. 13 that forced hundreds of thousands to abandon damaged or destroyed homes.
That earthquake has been followed by more than 3,200 aftershocks.
Tuesday's temblor flattened much of the heart of San Vicente, 35 miles east of San Salvador, and damaged most of the homes and buildings in four surrounding towns.
Residents in San Salvador and San Vicente fled into the streets in panic as the earthquake hit. Major highways were closed by landslides.
The U.S. Geological Survey said Tuesday's earthquake had a magnitude of 6.1. It hit about 8:25 a.m., and was centered 15 miles east-southeast of the capital, San Salvador. Its shallow, land-based epicenter meant that it was felt strongly not only in El Salvador but in neighboring Guatemala and Honduras.
The government canceled school and closed all public buildings, including hospitals, so they could be checked for possible damage. San Salvador's airport also was closed briefly.
Telephone service was patchy to many parts of the country.
The Green Cross rescue service said a collapsing grain tower killed two people in San Martin, 11 miles east of the capital, and that 75 houses in that city were reported damaged.
Landslides blocked several highways that were still being restored after the January quake. Among those closed again was the Pan-American Highway to Guatemala.
But there were no reports of additional damage in Santa Tecla, the city where hundreds of people were buried by a landslide caused by January's quake.
"It is true that this is another blow for El Salvador, but I call for tranquility. We have to be calm," President Francisco Flores told the Associated Press after a helicopter flight to assess the damage.