As many as 106 people died after a tropical storm battered Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, officials reported. Guatemala was hit hardest, with at least 83 deaths, nearly 112,000 people were evacuated and more than 29,000 are now living in temporary shelters, Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said on Sunday. The dead included four children who died when their home was swept away in a mudslide. More than 3 feet of rain fell in parts of Guatemala, said President Alvaro Colom. "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," he said.
The wreckage has been widespread across the country. Mudslides have levelled homes and buildings and buried some victims. At least nine rivers have dramatically higher levels, and 13 bridges have collapsed, Guatemala’s emergency services said. Lessons have been cancelled for this week across the whole of the nation. Guatemala City was already suffering after the Pacaya volcano started erupting on Thursday. A television reporter was killed by a shower of burning rocks.
Honduras’s President Porfirio Lobo declared a state of emergency on Sunday. Fourteen people have died there, and about 3,500 have been evacuated from their homes and nearly 3,300 are living in shelters, the Honduran emergency agency said yesterday (Monday). More than 140 homes have been destroyed, and another 700 have been damaged, said the Permanent Commission for Emergencies. In El Salvador, where nine people died, the situation was improving by yesterday, officials said. The weekend rain had stopped by late on Sunday but classes nationwide were still cancelled until further notice. The US and Columbia have offered to send planes and helicopters to ferry aid or help evacuate people from storm-hit areas.
Tropical Storm Agatha was downgraded to a tropical depression on Sunday, but the damage caused by heavy rains and high winds pushed El Salvador’s government to call a state of emergency.Agatha is expected to produce 10 to 20 inches of rain over south eastern Mexico, Guatemala and much of El Salvador, with as much as 30 inches expected last night (Monday)," the Miami-based US National Hurricane Centre said. "These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," it said. Agatha was the first named storm of the Pacific hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season starts on Tuesday.