SAN MARCOS, Guatemala — Efrain Ramos helped load a tiny casket carrying the body of his 6-year-old niece from the San Marcos morgue to a waiting pickup truck.
"The little girl died when a wall fell over her," a shocked Ramos told a reporter. He said the girl was playing in her room when the quake hit.
Sobbing uncontrollably, the girl's mother hugged the coffin wrapped with white lace and tulle.
Ramos said the family would escort his niece Rosa's body back home for a viewing.
The quake, which was 20 miles deep, was centered 15 miles off the coastal town of Champerico and 100 miles southwest of Guatemala City. It was the strongest earthquake to hit Guatemala since a 1976 temblor that killed 23,000.
Perez said more than 2,000 soldiers were deployed to help with the disaster. A plane had made at least two trips to carry relief teams to the area.