SAN MARCOS, Guatemala (AP) — The number of dead from Guatemala's worst earthquake since 1976 has risen to 52. And the country's president says many of the 22 people still missing are also believed to be dead.
President Otto Perez Molina says the quake affected as many as 1.2 million people as it shook nearly the entire country.
He says there were 70 aftershocks in the first 24 hours after the quake, which hit yesterday morning off the country's Pacific coast.
Perez says people in the area hit by the quake were left without drinking water, electricity and communication.
Fears of aftershocks prompted Guatemalans to huddle in the streets of the mountain town of San Marcos, the most heavily affected area, where at least 40 people died. Others crowded inside its hospital, the only building left with electricity.
GRAPHICSBANK: Residents walk among rubble after earthquake, San Marcos, GUATEMALA, with epicenter on texture, lettering QUAKE, finished graphic (8 Nov 2012)
APPHOTO GUA126: Aurelia Lopez, right, comforts her 12-year-old son Alex Fuentes in the emergency room of a public hospital in San Marcos, Guatemala, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. The boy was injured during a 7.4 magnitude earthquake Wednesday in San Marcos, some 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the epicenter. Dozens are reported dead and many missing. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) (7 Nov 2012)
<<APPHOTO GUA126 (11/07/12)>>
APPHOTO GUA104: Residents begin clearing quake rubble from a house in San Cristobal Cucho, Guatemala, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. The magnitude 7.4 quake that struck Wednesday caused terror over an unusually wide area, with damage reported in all but one of Guatemala's 22 states and shaking felt as far away as Mexico City. (AP Photo/Moises Castillo) (8 Nov 2012)
<<APPHOTO GUA104 (11/08/12)>>