New, Bigger Earthquake Rattles Nicaragua's Capital

Image: A man walks inside his house damaged by an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 in Nagarote town
A man walks inside his house in Nagarote, Nicaragua, that was damaged by an earthquake of magnitude 6.1 that hit Thursday. Another more powerful quake hit the region around Managua on Friday.OSWALDO RIVAS / Reuters

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A 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck Nicaragua on Friday, just a day after a less powerful quake hit the same area, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The quake Friday was centered deep underground – about 86 miles down – so damage was expected to be light, USGS geophysicist John Bellinis said. But people in Managua, about 35 miles northwest of the epicenter, and towns that were nearer to the center ran into the streets in panic, The Associated Press reported.

The quake was felt in neighboring Costa Rica and El Salvador, Reuters reported.

The quake on Thursday, measuring 6.1 and centered northwest of Managua at a depth of about six miles, injured scores of people, according to Nicaraguan officials. One person was reported to have died of a heart attack. Hundreds of aftershocks were reported.

Nicaragua has a long history of earthquakes. A 6.2 quake in 1972 destroyed much of Managua and left between 3,000 and 7,000 dead – many victims were left entombed when authorities leveled the worst-hit areas into mass graves, according to a history on the USGS website.

A map produced by the U.S. Geological Service shows the shaking intensity of an earthquake that struck southeast of Managua, Nicaragua, on Friday afternoon.