Aftershocks shake Nicaragua; nation on alert

April 11, 2014
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Nicaragua's president placed his government on the highest alert level as aftershocks continued to rattle the country on Friday, a day after a magnitude-6.1 earthquake.

The government raised the number of injured people from 23 to 200. It also said that a 23-year-old woman had died of an apparent heart attack after the quake.

In the capital city of Managua, 300 homes were damaged and at least 20 were destroyed by the shake, said one of the mayor's deputies, Fidel Moreno.

Authorities ordered the demolition of two old buildings that had withstood the earthquake of 1972 that killed 10,000 people. Hospitals began discharging patients with minor illnesses so they could have beds available in the event of injuries from an aftershock.

"We're trying to take as many preventive measures as possible to prevent more deaths," said government spokeswoman and First Lady Rosario Murillo.

President Daniel Ortega said that he raised the country's alert level to red so that they evacuate everyone in situations at risk of harm from aftershocks.

On Thursday night, officials took 155 people out of neighborhoods northeast of the capital city due to risk of landslides. One of the shelters was still housing 22 families on Friday.

Schools closed in the capital and also in the northwestern city of Leon.

The government said roughly 800 homes were damaged in the town of Nagarote and surrounding areas, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of the capital.