MANAGUA, Nicaragua -

Nicaraguans ran into the streets in panic as a 6.1-magnitude earthquake rattled the Central American country on Thursday, damaging dozens of houses and knocking out power to some areas.

At least 23 people were injured by falling ceilings, beams and walls in the town of Nagarote, 31 miles (50 kilometers) northwest of the capital of Managua, said Guillermo Gonzalez, director of the disaster prevention agency.

Gonzalez said that three of the injured were in "delicate condition." He gave no other details.

More than 100 houses were damaged in Nagarote and nearby communities and another 2 houses were damaged in Managua, he said.

Landslides were blocking two highways south of Managua, he added.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake struck at 5:27 p.m. local time (23:27 GMT), and was centered about 11 miles (18 kilometers) southeast of the city of Larreynaga. It had a depth of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers).

Nicaraguans reported feeling a strong aftershock minutes later that the USGS said was a 5.1-magnitude quake centered 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of Ciudad Sandino.

Panicked people from different parts of the country called the popular radio station Radio Ya to report feeling a strong shaking and say they had lost electricity and potable water.

Authorities suspended classes on Friday in the cities of Leon and Managua.