Powerful quake kills dozens in Guatemala

Powerful quake kills dozens in Guatemala

SAN MARCOS, Guatemala
Powerful quake kills dozens in Guatemala

Residents walk among rubble after an earthquake struck in Guatemala. Several aftershocks rattled residents. AP photo

A strong earthquake off the coast of Guatemala killed at least 48 people and trapped others under rubble on Nov. 7, crushing homes and cars, destroying roads and forcing evacuations as far away as Mexico City.
Most of the dead were buried under debris in San Marcos state, a mountainous region near the Mexican border. Landslides triggered by the 7.4-magnitude quake blocked highways and complicated rescue efforts.

 It was the strongest earthquake to hit the Central American nation since 1976, when a 7.5-magnitude quake killed more than 20,000 people. President Otto Perez, who confirmed the death toll after returning to the capital Guatemala City from a lightning trip to San Marcos, said that as many as 23 people were unaccounted for, while 153 people were being housed in emergency shelters.

Perez, who announced three days of mourning, said Spain and Venezuela had offered help. Authorities distributed 16,000 emergency rations and mobilized more than 2,000 soldiers to help with the rescue effort. The energy ministry said 73,000 people were left without electricity. Guatemalans fearing aftershocks huddled in the dark and frigid streets wrapped in blankets.

Another quake in Canada

Meanwhile, a magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck off the west coast of Canada but no damages have been reported and no tsunami warning has been issued. Natural Resources Canada said the tremor occurred the night of Nov. 7 off Vancouver Island in the Pacific Ocean.