8 November 2012

A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Guatemala in the early hours of 7 November and was followed by dozens of aftershocks.

The epicenter was located on the southwestern coast, close to Champerico in the Retalhuleu region.

Authorities have indicated that over 1.2 million people are affected. Widespread structural damage can be seen across the country including broken telephone lines, power failures, collapsed houses and road blockages. 

The President of the Republic announced reports detailing 52 casualties, hundreds injured and over 20 people missing. 

Guatemala's government has declared that the priorities are focused on people who need immediate health care and attention to those displaced from their homes. They have stated that they are currently capable of meeting these emergency needs.

There has been no official request from authorities for UNICEF's support at this time. If the situation changes, we have pre-positioned supplies to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food.