Emergencies

Prayers for Guatemala Earthquake Survivors

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Guatemala following an earthquake that has claimed the lives of at least two people. We invite you to join us in prayer for our sisters and brothers affected by the quake.

The strong earthquake struck off the south coast of Guatemala this morning, causing damage in western departments and shaking buildings in the capital, Guatemala City. There are preliminary reports of infrastructure damage, several collapsed homes, downed power lines and at least two deaths. The quake was also felt in neighboring Mexico and Nicaragua. Catholic Relief Services will respond with emergency aid if called upon by the local church and civil authorities. We are monitoring the situation and have emergency response staff on stand-by in the region. CRS has been operating in Guatemala since 1963 and has strong experience and expertise in emergency response operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

We invite you to go here to help with emergencies like this. As always, thanks for your support. It encourages us and the people we serve in your name.

San Marcos, the mainly indigenous mountain area some 80 miles from the epicenter, was the hardest hit, with some 700 homes damaged. While most roads are reported open, the earthquake trigged landslides on one major highway. As many as 10,000 houses may be uninhabitable, according to news reports. Officials said yesterday’s earthquake was the worst to strike Guatemala since 1976, when a 7.5-magnitude quake killed about 25,000 people. Yesterday’s quake was also felt in neighboring Mexico and Nicaragua.

“CRS and partner staff are all reported safe. However, some staff living in San Marcos have had damages to their homes,” said Anne Bousquet, CRS Country Representative in Guatemala. “The worry is about possible aftershocks.”

CRS will help the Guatemalan national network for disaster response (CONRED) assess the damage in the coming days by offering staff and vehicle support. CONRED has 16,000 cold rations ready to help those in need and the government has deployed 2,000 military personnel to help. CRS is also ready to respond through the local church and has emergency response staff on stand-by in the region.

CRS has been operating in Guatemala since 1963 and has strong experience and expertise in emergency response operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

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