SAN MARCOS, Guatemala (CNS) — A magnitude 6.9 earthquake June 14 in western Guatemala resulted in landslides that closed the Inter-American Highway, which connects many Central American nations.
Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international development agency, was conducting an assessment of the region to determine what response was warranted.
The temblor, which struck at about 1:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. EDT) was centered five miles southwest of Tajumulco, near San Marcos, the largest nearby city with a population of 45,000.
Two casualties were reported, but it could not be immediately determined if they were attributable to the quake.
In Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second-largest city and about 32 miles southeast of San Marcos, damage was reported to 43 buildings; many walls were separated in older dwellings. Power outages were reported in smaller communities closer to the epicenter.
Robyn Fieser, a communications specialist for Catholic Relief Services, was in Quetzaltenango at the time of the quake. She said the epicenter is in a mountainous region of Guatemala, and rains in the region made it easier for landslides to take place.
She said it was “the strongest thing I’ve ever felt.” Employees at the hotel where she was staying evacuated rooms and moved guests to the roof until they could ensure the hotel had no structural damage. But hotel workers — who are Guatemalan natives, Fieser told Catholic News Service — said it was the strongest quake they had ever felt as well.
Fieser said another CRS employee in Guatemala told her, “I normally don’t leave the house during an earthquake, but this was so strong we all got out of the house.” The quake was strong enough to be felt in southern Mexico.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
or by credit card: