600,000 children affected by Guatemala earthquake
Plan is providing specialist psychosocial teams to help children affected by a powerful earthquake that shook cities in four areas on Guatemala's southwest Pacific coast. It is estimated that more than 600,000 children have been affected by this earthquake.
The earthquake, measuring 7.2 on the Richter Scale (IX on the Modified Mercalli Scale) has affected 1.2 million people, killed more than 50 and damaged over 2,200 homes and seven schools according to early assessments.
Plan Guatemala says that government rescue crews worked overnight in San Marcos searching the rubble for survivors and victims. Power has also been restored to 95% of the areas.
Plan Guatemala Country Director Débora Cóbar said that after disasters such as earthquakes, girls and boys can become separated from their families, they can be scared, anxious and unsure of what to do. Girls are particularly vulnerable.
“We have experience working on damage assessment and child protection in shelters which is very important because it makes the difference of how boys and girls are taken care of and protected from harm.
"We are supporting government efforts on needs assessment and child protection."
Cóbar said that the earthquake struck during the school holidays which allows for time to repair the seven schools which were damaged before the start of the next term.
Wednesday’s earthquake was the strongest to hit the country since 1976, when a 7.5-magnitude quake killed more than 20,000 people.
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