Guatemala was coping Thursday with the aftermath of a massive magnitude 7.4 earthquake that killed at least 52 people, injured many more and damaged thousands of homes.

The epicenter of Wednesday's quake was located off Guatemala’s Pacific Coast, affecting the mountainous San Marcos region near the western border with Mexico.

Around 2,000 soldiers were deployed to the area Thursday to assist with rescue efforts.

“We started rescue work very early," said fire official Julio Cesar Fuentes, the BBC reported. "The objective is our hope to find people who were buried."

Guatemalan authorities reported that 75,000 households remained without power.

The only hospital in the area did not lose power, but has been inundated with the injured.

The earthquake was the largest to hit the Central American country since 1976 when a magnitude 7.5 earthquake struck, causing 25,000 deaths.