There have been further reports of damage and casualties as response operations and damage assessments continue following a magnitude-6.2 earthquake and several aftershocks in Escuintla Department in southern Guatemala on February 16th. Two fatalities have been reported in the cities of Mixco and Quetzaltenango, both of which were caused by heart attacks during the earthquake. The National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED) has reported that nearly 25,000 people have been affected by the earthquake and damage has occurred to several properties. At least a dozen roads have also been impacted, mostly due to landslides. The worst hit areas include Chimaltenango, Escuintla, Guatemala, Quetzaltenango, Sacatepequez, Solola, and Totonicapan departments.
Minor structural damage has been reported in Sipacate in Escuintla Department; Totonicapan in Totonicapan Department; Amatitlan, Mixco, and Villa Canales in Guatemala Department; and Antigua Guatemala in Sacatepequez Department. Landslides have occurred in Quetzaltenango, Sacatepequez, Solola, and Chimaltenango Departments.
Power outages have been reported in several municipalities in Solola Department and in the cities of Mixco, Chimaltenango, and Quetzaltenango, as well as in Sacatepequez Department. Due to the initial main earthquake occurring in the early hours and the ongoing aftershocks, it could be some time before the true extent of the damage is fully assessed.
The magnitude-6.2 earthquake occurred in Escuintla Department at around 01:12 Feb. 16. The epicenter was about 1.0 km (0.6 miles) south-southeast of Neuva Concepcion. The tremor occurred at a depth of about 83 km (52 miles), and moderate-to-strong shaking was probably felt near the epicenter. Light shaking was likely felt in the rest of southern and central Guatemala, western El Salvador and Honduras, and southern Chiapas State in Mexico. The initial earthquake has been followed by dozens of aftershocks, at least three of which have been over magnitude 4.0. The aftershocks are likely to hamper recovery efforts and the damage assessment process.
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