The most powerful earthquake to hit Guatemala in decades last Wednesday killed at least 52 and damaged more than 8,000 homes. The 7.5 earthquake was followed by a 6.2 tremor on Sunday but caused limited damage.

 

The Guatemalan President has declared a public emergency in seven states: Retalhuleu, San Marcos, Sololá, Quetzaltenango, Totonicapán, Huehuetenango and Quiche. ChildFund operates in six out of seven states.

 

ChildFund Guatemala reports some property damage in their communities but, so far, no injuries or fatalities among families with whom ChildFund works. Assessments will continue to focus on the ongoing safety of children in our programmes.

 

Close to 40 families in ChildFund communities are living in damaged homes and 18 schools need repair before the start of the new school year. Many children and adolescents are experiencing increased anxiety, headaches and other physical symptoms of post traumatic stress.

 

Based on initial assessments of need following the earthquakes, ChildFund will be providing:

- House repair (including water and sanitation

 - School repair

- Psychosocial support - that is helping children to overcome the effects of trauma

 

Please check back for updates.

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