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Post-earthquake emergency assistance in Guatemala

Post-earthquake emergency assistance in Guatemala

November 13, 2012

Oxfam is providing urgent humanitarian assistance to about 2,250 families in Guatemala after a major earthquake Nov. 7, 2012, off the Pacific Coast, left thousands of people without shelter or water.

The death toll from the earthquake, 7.2 on the Richter scale, is 42 and others are missing. Nearly 29,000 people are directly affected. More than 5,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged. Most of the damages are concentrated in San Marcos and Quetzaltenango.

Oxfam is distributing such basic necessities as food and water and non-food items such as blankets, hygiene kits, kitchen kits, and water filters to those in most need. Oxfam’s plan is to assist 11,250 people, 52 per cent of them women.

Within that total, Oxfam Canada is supporting AMES (Asociacion de Mujeres en Solidaridad), a longstanding partner in Guatemala. AMES is distributing emergency supplies to 1,347 vulnerable people in two municipalities, San Antonio Sacatepéquez and San Lorenzo, in the department of San Marcos. to the most vulnerable people.  AMES is also providing help to those traumatized by the impact of the quake.

Estimates of need may rise as access is gained to highly-dispersed communities in the Guatemalan highlands. Transportation is challenging due to landslides and collapsed bridges. Some families have been moved to shelters; other took refuge with neighbours or relatives.  Needs are urgent, given the cold, damp conditions in the mountain villages.

Oxfam and partners continue to assess the situation in coordination with local municipalities.

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