Plan International is working with local emergency teams to reach people worst hit by the strongest earthquake in Guatemala for more than 35 years.
At least 48 people are dead, and hundreds more missing or injured, after the 7.4 magnitude quake struck off the central American country's pacific coast.
The state of San Marcos bore the brunt of its force - with people running into the streets as far away as Mexico and El Salvador.
"We are hearing reports of houses collapsing and serious damage to roads in the Southwest region," says Débora Cóbar, Plan International's Country Director in Guatemala.
"The Government has prioritised search and rescue operations, as well as hospital attention for victims, damage assessment and humanitarian aid."
"Plan International will be focusing its support on assessing the impact of the quake and keeping children safe from harm in emergency shelters."
Guatemala's minister of communications and infrastructure has warned it could take 24 hours to re-establish transport links to the worst-affected areas.
Plan is working with the government, UN agencies and other international aid organisations to help coordinate response.
Panama, El Salvador and Honduras have offered their help with the rescue operation.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org
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Notes to editors
1) Plan is a global children’s charity. We work with children in the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future. A future you would want for all children, your family and friends. For 75 years we’ve been taking action and standing up for every child’s right to fulfill their potential by:
· giving children a healthy start in life, including access to safe drinking water
· securing the education of girls and boys
· working with communities to prepare for and survive disasters
· inspiring children to take a lead in decisions that affect their lives
· enabling families to earn a living and plan for their children’s future.
We do what’s needed, where it’s needed most. We do what you would do. With your support children, families and entire communities have the power to move themselves from a life of poverty to a future with opportunity.
2) Plan UK is a member of The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an umbrella organisation for 14 leading humanitarian aid agencies.
3) We work with children in 50 of the world’s poorest countries to help them build a better future.
4) Plan was founded by British journalist John Langdon-Davies in 1937 to rescue orphans and other vulnerable children from the Spanish Civil War.
6) We have over 100,000 sponsors in the UK, generating £24 million a year, and 1 million sponsored children worldwide
7) Sponsorship starts at £15-a-month and, rather than going to individual children and their families, funds projects to improve schooling, health, nutrition and livelihoods across communities.