The death toll in the worst Guatemala earthquake since 1976 rose Thursday to 52 people, with many of the 22 still missing expected to be among the dead, according to President Otto Perez Molina.

Perez said the powerful 7.4-magnitude quake that hit Wednesday morning off the Pacific coast affected as many as 1.2 million people as it shook nearly the entire country. He said a little more than 700 people were in shelters, with most opting to stay with family or friends.