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10,000 Families homeless in Guatemala's earthquake

11-09-2012 10:52 BJT

By CCTV correspondent Franc Contreras

Rescue workers are searching for survivors in western Guatemala on Wednesday, after a massive earthquake hit that Central American nation. At least 52 people were killed. It was the most powerful earthquake to hit that region in 36 years.

Rescue workers are combing through the rubble in western Guatemala, desperately hoping to find anyone who may still be trapped.

The earthquake struck one of the Central American nation’s poorest regions, San Marcos on the border with Mexico. The government says over one million people - many indigenous - were affected, and up to 10,000 families are now homeless.  
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina visited the worst hit region, declaring a national disaster and three days of mourning. The president says: "The priority is to attend to vital supply lines, electricity and drinking water. We are looking into this because San Pedro and San Marcos have no light nor drinking water." Tens of thousands of people in the region still have no communication. Hundreds are now living in temporary shelters.

The 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit mid-morning on Wednesday, with the epicenter located out at sea, some 35 kilometers off Guatemala’s Pacific coast. It was felt nearly one thousand kilometers away in Mexico City.

With aftershocks still a threat, many are recalling Guatemala’s devastating 1976 earthquake, which claimed more than 23 thousand lives, also in mostly indigenous areas.

 

Editor:James |Source: CCTV.com

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