End of the emergency deployment to Guatemala

November 15th, 2012


[TSF] Mission au Guatemala (5)On 9th November, a Télécoms Sans Frontières’ emergency team deployed to the San Marcos department in Guatemala, the most affected by 7.5-magnitude quake that hit the country's Pacific coast.

TSF experts coordinated with ROLAC (Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean) and REDLAC (Risk, Emergency, and Disaster Task Force Inter-Agency Workgroup for Latin America & The Caribbean) to be rapidly operational in the affected area.

In the most affected departments of San Marcos and Quetzaltenango, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina reported 50 people killed, 15 buried under the rubble and more than 100 missing. Telecommunications are interrupted, several roads are destroyed, and 73,000 people were left without electricity, near the whole of the San Marcos department.


The earthquake has been felt in the capital itself, but also in Mexico and El Salvador (there were no significant damage or victim in these two countries).


The TSF emergency team worked with the Guatemalan National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) and provided essential technical support. This collaboration enabled TSF to reach the affected area upon arrival and to have a global vision of the situation on the ground.


[TSF] Mission au Guatemala (2)San Marcos CONREDTSF 10-11-12-San Marcos COE
















[TSF] Mission au Guatemala (4)[TSF] Mission au Guatemala (6)Beyond the support to the CONRED, TSF experts offered national and international calls in the 7 refugee camps of the San Marcos department. 

Testimony of María Margarita, refugee in the parish of San Pedro:

Thanks to TSF I was able to inform my brother in the United States about my situation. I told him that my house collapsed, breaking the legs of my son and my daughter-in-law, but that we are alive. I deeply thank TSF because I did not know how to contact my brother.” 


The Guatemalan response mechanism is well organized, the three telecom operators in Guatemala (Tigo, Claro and Movistar) restored their network by building up their systems thanks to generators, and two days after the quake, power was 80% re-established in the affected municipalities.


The region being now in its rehabilitation stage, the TSF team left Guatemala on 12th November 2012.