Guatemala 1976

International Operation Name: N/A

International Operation Dates:  N/A

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  Central America

Location:  Guatemala

Canadian Operation Name: Guatemala 1976

Canadian Operation Dates: 1976/02/10 – 1976/03/17

Mission Mandate:

To deliver humanitarian assistance to Guatemala

Mission Notes: 

At 3:00 AM on February 4th 1976, a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck Guatemala City. Over 23,000 people were killed, 76,000 injured and nearly 1 million left homeless – almost one sixth of Guatemala’s population. The northern part of the city was virtually destroyed. The shock was felt not only in Guatemala, but as far away as Mexico City. In Honduras, parts of three towns near the Guatemalan border were destroyed.

Aid came in almost immediately, with US personnel and military helicopters from the Panama Canal Zone arriving to assist Guatemalan troops in maintaining order and to ferry relief supplies to isolated villages. From the United States, there was an immediate $3.6 million in emergency aid and a further $15 million from voluntary contributions within six days of the quake. Most Central American countries sent food, clothing, medical supplies, doctors, and relief experts, while the Organization of American States contributed $500,000.

437 Squadron flew two Boeings loaded with powdered milk and other relief supplies to Guatemala City.

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