Tuesday 13 November 2012
ShelterBox assessing need in rattled GuatemalaWhen the first earthquake hit, people were excavating sand here in El Recreo. This image dipicts the search & rescue efforts in Guatemala, November, 2012.
A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has been carrying out emergency needs assessments in Guatemala's San Marcos, a region devastated by two strong earthquakes in the last week.
The most powerful tremor the Central American country has felt in 40 years, measuring 7.2 in magnitude, hit the mountainous area near the Mexican border on Nov. 7, damaging infrastructure, cutting power and making hundreds of families homeless.
SRT members, Jen Kormendy (CA) and Dan Huisman (CA), were assessing the need for emergency shelter when a second 6.1-magnitude quake struck the same area on Nov. 12. Although there have been no immediate reports of major damage, there is now a sense of panic amongst the communities.
"They are frightened when the tremors come, as they were felt yesterday several times throughout the day and into the night. They all ran out into the streets for safety.
"There is a definite need as many homes are either completely destroyed or uninhabitable due to safety concerns. We have seen many cases of multiple families sleeping under one tarp - this is all they have," said Kormendy.
The SRT is working with local Rotarians and Mayan families and will be initially distributing tents using prepositioned stock in country.