Earthquake hits northwest Argentina, kills 1

Homes and schools destroyed by 5.9 magnitude earthquake in northwest Argentina

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck northwest Argentina on Saturday, the US Geological Survey reported, leaving at least one person dead, injuring several more and damaging homes, according to local media.

"Homes collapsed, families have been left with nothing, schools have been destroyed. We have one fatality, who was crushed," Hector Romero, mayor of El Galpon, some 160 km from the provincial capital of Salta, told a local radio station.

"Currently there is one woman dead and injured people are being treated at the local hospital," said Ernesto Flores, undersecretary with Salta's civil defense authority, according to state-run news agency Telam.

A doctor at a hospital in El Galpon told news agency DyN that five people were treated there for mild injuries.

Reuters could not independently confirm the number of injured with the civil defense authority.

Some 15 to 20 homes were destroyed in El Galpon, according to a photographer collaborating with Reuters.

The USGS, which originally measured the quake at 6.0, said the quake occurred 131 kms (81 miles) southeast of Salta.