Guatemala: Earthquake DREF operation n° MDRGT004

Summary: On 7 November an earthquake of magnitude 7.2 occurred off the northwestern Guatemalan coast. Although assessments are still ongoing, the government estimates that more than 1,200,000 persons were affected and 5,251 left homeless. Currently 50 deaths have been reported, while 24 people are still missing. The government of Guatemala declared a State of Calamity on 7 November for the departments of Retalhuleu, Quetzaltenango, Sololá, Quiché, Totonicapán, San Marcos, and Huehuetenango.

An institutional red alert was declared by the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Coordinadora Nacional de Reducción de Desastres, CONRED) in Guatemala and the Guatemalan Red Cross mobilized its emergency teams for search and rescue operations, evacuation of people from risk areas, pre-hospital care, and damage and needs assessments. The current DREF-supported operation will assist with more detailed assessments in order to better understand the scope of the damage to homes and buildings, as well as to provide support for the distribution of relief items to some 450 families, of which 300 will be assisted with temporary shelter solutions. In addition, the National Society is also assisting with pre-hospital care, psychosocial support, violence prevention, nutritional good practices, safe water, and epidemic control for 1,000 families.

This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will therefore be completed by 7 February 2013; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 7 May 2013).