Loss adjusters have begun to assess the cost of Saturday's earthquake in El Salvador, but say it is too early to tell what the final damage figure will be.

The tremor, which measured 7.6 on the Richter scale, left at least 1,500 people dead in the central American country.

Eduardo Kinsi, managing director of McLaren Toplis's Mexico City office, has reported substantial damage to buildings both in the capital San Salvador and surrounding regions.

The international airport has widespread structural damage, including cracks in the runway and the operations tower.

A number of hospitals and hotels have been affected and damage to petrol stations and shopping precincts has also been reported.

Work is progressing slowly as loss adjusters can only enter areas declared safe.

Aftershocks, some of them measuring more than 5.0, are still rocking the area and hampering operations.

Ben Price, who is co-ordinating Cunningham Lindsey's response for the London market with David Appleton, said it would probably take at least two months to survey the damage.