At least 52 died in an earthquake Wednesday (Nov.7) centered off Guatemala's Pacific Coast, in the northern part of Guatemala. The 7.4-magnitude quake was felt throughout most of the country, and has forced evacuations, particularly in mountainous areas. More than 700 are in shelters, and hundreds others were displaced. Dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. The quake is being described as one of the most powerful quakes in decades.
President Otto Perez Molina said of survivors: "They have no drinking water, no electricity, no communication and are in danger of experiencing more aftershocks," as reported by the Associated Press.
The ACT Alliance says in an initial report that 17,549 persons are in some way affected by the quake.
None of the areas affected are in districts where CWS supports direct programs. However, a Food Resource Bank program in San Marcos, one of the most affected areas, has received CWS support.
The ACT Alliance Forum in Guatemala, of which CWS is a member, is meeting with government authorities and responders; the CWS-supported alliance is likely to respond and an appeal may follow.
How to help:
Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts around the world may be made online, sent to your denomination, or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.
Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.