The 1976 Guatemala earthquake struck on February 4, 1976 at 03:01:43 local time (09:01:43 UTC-6). It was a 7.5 Mw earthquake, centered in the Motagua Fault, about 160 km northeast of Guatemala City, Guatemala. The quake's hypocenter was located at a depth of 5 km near the town of Los Amates in the department of Izabal.
Cities throughout the country suffered damage, and most adobe type houses in the outlying areas of Guatemala City were completely destroyed. The earthquake struck during the early morning (at 3.01 am, local time) when most people were asleep. This has contributed to the high death toll of 23,000. Approximately 76,000 were injured, and many thousands left homeless. Some of areas went without electricity and communication for days.
The main shock was followed by thousands of aftershocks, some of the larger ones causing additional loss of life and damage.