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Death toll in Guatemala earthquake rises to 29


07:59, November 08, 2012

MEXICO CITY, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- The death toll from the 7.4- magnitude earthquake that shook Guatemala on Wednesday rose to 29 and authorities warn that it could continue to rise, because 100 other people remain missing.

Aroldo Rivera, governor of the northwestern department of San Marcos, bordering Mexico, told local media that 29 people were dead and 155 wounded in the earthquake in the area.

The official said the deaths reported so far correspond to the department of San Marcos, the most affected area by the earthquake, adding that according to preliminary assessments, at least 135 houses in that area of the country were destroyed.

Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina has earlier said at a press conference that more than 15 people were dead and 100 missing in the earthquake, which also left dozens of homes collapsed and roads cut, especially in the southwestern region of the country.

Molina said that the quake caused damage in several departments, including San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Solola and also in the capital Guatemala City. He also deployed 2,000 troops to assist in relief efforts in the affected region.

Meanwhile, local relief agencies said Wednesday that the death toll may be higher. Guatemala's National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction has reported one death in San Marcos, where have registered major damage during the quake.

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