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Published: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 5:50:02 AM
Updated: Saturday April 12, 2014 MYT 5:50:02 AM

Magnitude 6.6 quake hits Nicaragua, no damage reported

MANAGUA (Reuters) - A strong earthquake hit southwest Nicaragua on Friday, the second in as many days, shaking buildings in the capital Managua and as far away as San Jose in Costa Rica, but there were no immediate reports of damage.

The 6.6 magnitude quake, which was also felt as far as El Salvador, struck 15 miles (24 km) south of the town of Granada, near the country's Pacific coast, at a depth of 86 miles (138.6 km), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The epicentre was 34 miles (56 km) south-southeast of Managua. Local radio station Nueva Radio Ya said the city's Roman Catholic Cathedral was evacuated as throngs of faithful gathered ahead of Holy Week celebrations.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said a tsunami was not expected due to the depth of the quake.

The quake was felt in Costa Rica's north-western Guanacaste province, but the country's national emergency commission said there were no reports of damage or injuries.

The tremor came a day after a 6.1 magnitude earthquake shook western Nicaragua at a shallow depth of 6.2 miles (10 km), knocking out power and phone lines in some areas of the capital.

Nicaragua's government evacuated buildings on Friday in the wake of Thursday's tremor, which damaged around 700 homes and caused dozens of light injuries. Schools were already closed when Friday's quake struck.

(Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper in San Jose and Nelson Renteria in San Salvador; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Simon Gardner)

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