UN’s Quick Response to Earthquake in Guatemala

Early Monday morning an earthquake measuring 6.4 degrees on the Richter scale, shook the border area between Guatemala and Mexico. The Guatemalan Department of San Marcos, which borders the two countries was the most adversely affected. The following pictures are from WFP’s initial response teams, which are currently on the scene assessing the situation.

Truck driving amidst the rubble

WFP/Mario Galindo

Earthquake Leaves a Path of Destruction

An earthquake measuring 6.4 degrees on the Richter scale, shook the border area between Guatemala and Mexico on Monday. The Guatemalan Department of San Marcos, that boarders the two countries, was the most detrimentally affected. United Nations agencies- WFP, UNICEF, OPS, and FAO- were quick to respond and assess the situation.

Dilapidated Guatemalan Department of San Marcos building

WFP/Mario Galindo

State of Public Calamity

Due to the severity of the earthquake and the damage that it created, the National President declared a state of public calamity in the affected areas.

Destroyed building

WFP/Mario Galindo

Homes Left in Shambles

Many families affected by the quake have taken refuge in the homes of neighbors and relatives.

Three people around a kitchen table

WFP/Marco Galindo

WFP Staff Member: Firsthand Experience

Verónica Maldonado, the leading WFP field monitor in the area, experienced the earthquake firsthand. In her first report, she wrote that the earthquake shook the area strongly and that moments later, people abandoned their homes and were out in the streets, due to fear of sudden aftershocks. Veronica is currently part of the assessment mission.

Guatemalan people talking with WFP staff

WFP Photo

Community Members Share Personal Accounts

WFP’s Mario Galindo talks with a group of women, from the municipality of San Rafael Pie de la Cuesta about their experiences during the earthquake and their current concerns. Many have been left homeless and fear for their food security.

WFP staff questioning Guatemalan women about what happened

WFP/Mario Galindo

Strategic Interagency Collaborations

United Nations agencies, governmental entities, and supporting international institutions have maintained close contact in order to facilitate effective and efficient operations in the areas affected by this unexpected natural disaster.