Guatemala City will carry out on February 4, for the first time in its history, a macro simulation of an earthquake of magnitude 7.6 on the Richter open scale, said the mayor of Mexico City Ricardo Quiñónez on Monday.
Some 250,000 people will participate in the simulation, which will be carried out in some 370 buildings in the Guatemalan capital, Quiñónez said in statements to journalists.
The exercise is intended to prevent a disaster like the one lived on February 4 but from 1976, 44 years ago. That day, an earthquake of 7.5 magnitude caused the death of 23,000 people and caused destruction in a third of the national territory.
Quiñónez told the press on Monday that this earthquake of 44 years ago was “a sad fact” and stressed that now it is necessary to “build a disaster prevention effort”, something that, he insisted, “we have put emphasis on the past 24 months to prepare for a real possibility of a fact “like the strong seismic movement of 1976.
The simulation macro will be carried out at 10.00 local time (16.00 GMT). The Caribbean area of Los Amates, in the department of Izabal, with a depth of five kilometers will have as its epicenter.
Volunteer Firefighters and the Municipal Fire Department, the Red Cross, the National Coordinator for Disaster Prevention and other public sector institutions will participate in the drill, the mayor said.
The Municipality of Guatemala said in its social networks that “everyone can participate” in the drill as “volunteers, neighbors, relief agencies”.
Guatemala is considered by international organizations as one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, and local authorities have identified more than 10,000 risk points across the country, which affects about three million people.
The Central American country has a high seismic activity and registers more than a thousand telluric movements a year.