Guatemala was shaken by a magnitude-7.4 earthquake that left at least 48 people dead in a mountainous area near the Pacific Coast.
At least 23 people are still missing, 155 more were injured, and more than 17,000 were affected, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina said, according to the EFE news agency.
On Wednesday, Molina declared three days of national mourning for those who were killed in the disaster, saying that the country will be on alert for aftershocks.
The quake struck off the northwestern coast of Guatemala at a depth of 15 miles Wednesday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Guatemalan authorities deployed rescue teams to find those who are still missing, The Associated Press reported.
“One thing is to hear about what happened and another thing entirely is to see it,” President Perez told AP. “As a Guatemalan I feel sad … to see mothers crying for their lost children.”
In the town of San Cristobal Cucho, 10 members of the same family died when their home collapsed in the quake.
“The whole village is in mourning because an entire family was taken by God’s nature. What can we do,” local mayor Pedro Cardona told the BBC.
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