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Geopolitics

Biggest Guatemala Earthquake Since 1976

LA HORA (Guatemala), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

SAN MARCOS – The death toll rose Thursday to at least 48 after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the Pacific coast of Guatemala. Some 20 others have been reported missing, says BBC News.

Forty deaths have been confirmed in the San Marcos province and another eight in Quetzaltenango, in the South of the country, after Wednesday afternoon's quake, which also set off landslides that buried roads. It's estimated that it would take amore than 24 hours to restore links to the quake-hit area.

More than 30 buildings were damaged by the quake in the city of San Marcos, leaving thousand of people without electricity, reports La Hora.

President Otto Perez Molina, who toured the worst affected areas, has declared three days of mourning.

According to the director of Guatemala's Seismological Institute, this could be the biggest quake in Guatemala since 1976.

The quake was also felt in neighbouring El Salvador and Mexico, adds BBC News.

Panama, El Salvador and Honduras have offered their help with the rescue operation.

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