Death in El Salvador

The first tremors struck at 11:55 a.m. Friday. By nightfall El Salvador's capital, San Salvador (pop. 800,000), was virtually cut off from the rest of the world, plunged into darkness and littered with rubble. Though the quake, at 5.2 to 5.4 on the Richter scale, was considerably weaker than the 8.1 killer that leveled much of Mexico City last fall, it appears to have wrought terrible destruction.

Amid confusion, reports put the toll as high as 400 dead and 6,000 injured. Scores of stricken people lay outside overcrowded hospitals. Others wandered aimlessly through broken streets covered with shattered glass. Hardest hit...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!