A CEF Update on the Recent Guatemala Earthquake

by Rey Buenaventura, CEF Social Media Manager Three weeks ago, a magnitude 7.4 earthquake shook Guatemala's Pacific coastline, killing dozens and leaving thousands homeless. This was the biggest tremor to hit the country since 1976, when 25,000 people died in a 7.5-magnitude quake.  Since then the region has been hit with several more aftershocks, which have caused much panic and further destruction.  President Otto Perez Molina, later declared three days of mourning after touring the worst hit regions.

The terrible news of the past week-and-a-half has deeply worried many of us in the CEF Community.  We have many friends throughout the country, especially in Comitancillo, Guatemala where several CEF-sponsored projects are being run with our local partners.  We were able to get in touch with a few of our friends in the region and we're thankful to report that Comitancillo was not as hard hit and there have been no known deaths. However,  as the emails from our friends below note, many houses have been destroyed and many people are still nervously dealing with frequent aftershocks since:



"Just to inform you that there was a strong earthquake measuring 7.4 degrees Richeter in western Guatemala. Unfortunately in Comitancillo many houses have been destroyed, but thank God for now no reported loss of human lives. In other municipalities there have been reports of several dead, the most affected municipalities are San Pedro, San Marcos, San Cristobal Cucho, El Quetzal. The AMMID team is fine, though very shaken up." - Ruben Feliciano, Director of AMMID.


"On Wednesday, November 7 there was an earthquake of 7.2 degrees [on the Richeter scale] in San Marcos Comitancillo at about 10:30 am. There is minimal damage in Comitancillo.... We as a family got scared when the earthquake happened; we thought it was the end of the world!  Our kitchen, made of adobe... [is] now split into parts." - Rigoberto Matias Lopez, Primary School Teacher of Bella Vista, Tuixoquel.


CEF would like to take this time to send our thoughts and prayers to all of our friends in Guatemala. For those wishing to help, you can make a donation to the Guatemala Earthquake Relief Campaign via the Red Cross.