Tropical Storm Agatha Ravages Central America; An Estimated 131 Dead in the Region

Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom.
Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom.
Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom.
Guatemalan President Álvaro Colom.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — The season’s first tropical storm ripped through Central America and southern Mexico over the weekend, leaving an estimated 131 people dead and thousands more missing and homeless.

Tropical Storm Agatha caused major flooding and landslides in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras and prompted Honduras to declare a state of emergency.

The hardest hit country was Guatemala, where official counts reported 108 dead and 53 missing. President Álvaro Colom said that during a single-12 hour period on Sunday 4.3 inches of rain fell on he valley where Guatemala City is situated.

“The department has collapsed. There are a lot of dead people. The roads are blocked. The shelters are overflowing. We need water, food, clothes, blankets — but above all, money,” said Gov. Erick de León of the department of Chimaltenango, according to The Associated Press.

The storm also added to the disruption of an erupting volcano in Guatemala, as the Pacaya volcano spewed ash on regions close to the capital.

The storm has dissipated but heavy rains are expected throughout the region for the next few days.

“Many places are cut off but it appears the weather will improve a bit today and we will be able to airlift supplies to those places. The road network is badly damaged,” President Colom said at a news conference on Sunday, according to the BBC.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

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