Guatemala. According to the Governor of San Marcos, Luis Rivera at least 39 people have been killed in the department of San Marcos, due to the earthquake that struck today at 10: 37 am with a magnitude of 7.2 (according to INSIVUME) off the Pacific coast of Guatemala near the port of Champerico. Another 155 people have suffered injuries, the number of missing persons is not yet known.
Eddy Sanchez, Director of INSIVUMEH (Instituto Nacional de Sismología Vulcanología, Meteorología e Hidrología) informed of 5 aftershocks so far, he said that more aftershocks or another strong quake could be possible.
The populations of San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu, Sololá, the southern part of Quiché and Huehuetenango have been advised to avoid concentrations of people, because that geographical area, the western highlands of Guatemala, was the most affected by the earthquake.
The government informed they have enough food and emergency supplies for the population that has been affected so far. 3 Helicopters are being used for emergency transports.
Alejandro Sinnibaldi, Minister of Communications and Infrastructure informed that the Ministry is mobilizing machinery to deal with the landslides.
The landslides reported on mayor highways from Quetzaltenango to San Marcos; Km 222, the Interamerican Highway; Km 148 and 160 have already been cleared by the Ministry of Communications and Infrastructure and PROVIAL. The landslide blocking the passage from Quetzaltenango to Rethalhuleu; Km 180 and 186 have also been cleared.
Restoring basic services of electricity to 73 thousand people affected by damaged infrastructure is apriority for the Minister of Energy, Erick Archila, who said that they hope to repair the 3 central electrical stations that were damaged.
Restoring water supply will be managed by the local governor of San Marcos with CONRED and other government agencies collaborating in this emergency.
Picture: Government of Guatemala, Todays Press Conference of President Otto Pérez Molina