GUATEMALA CITY – The torrential rains deluging Guatemala have flooded several communities along the southern coast and 13 families have been evacuated because of the danger of a mudslide in the country’s southeast, officials said.
At least 13 communities in and near the port of San Jose, in the southern province of Escuintla, have experienced flooding due to the downpours.
At least 24 houses have been damaged from the flooding, Conred national emergency management office spokesman David de Leon said.
So far, however, it has not been necessary to carry out any evacuations there, but officials have prepared several shelters to house people, if need be, De Leon said.
The flooding was caused when the Achiguate River overflowed its banks and also because the sugar refineries divert river water to supply their operations, San Jose councilman Aquilino Estrada told Guatemalan radio.
In a community in the southeastern province of Santa Rosa, meanwhile, emergency management officials evacuated members of 13 families because of the risk that a nearby hillside saturated with rainwater could give way.
The residents were taken to a school, where they were housed and received other assistance.
Both Conred and the National Seismology Institute are continuing to monitor the rise of river waters nationwide so that they can alert communities of any danger, De Leon said.
A weather alert was issued Friday in Guatemala because of the presence of a low pressure system along the country’s Pacific coast.
Forecasters expect the heavy rains to continue on Sunday, with heavier downpours along the southern coast and in the central plateau, which includes the capital.