GUATEMALA CITY – Four children have died in Guatemala over the past few hours as a result of the torrential rains falling across the Central American country, authorities said Tuesday.
The first death was registered in Puerto de San Jose, 150 kilometers (93 miles) south of the capital, where a boy of 9 was swept away by the current in a canal.
The youngster’s body was found on Monday by emergency workers on the bank of the Chiquimulilla canal, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) away.
Firefighters also reported the death Monday night of three sisters in the community of La Reforma, about 270 kilometers (167 miles) west of the capital.
The girls, ages 6, 8 and 9, were crushed by a wall that fell onto their house, an accident resulting from an excess accumulation of rainwater.
Emergency workers rescued the mother of the children along with a 2-year-old boy.
More than 1,000 people have been evacuated from different communities around the country due to the heavy rains that have been falling since the weekend, according to the disaster management agency, Conred.
The downpours have caused rivers to overflow their banks across the country.
So far this year, rain has been the direct cause of 180 deaths nationwide, serious damage to infrastructure and agriculture, as well as making thousands of people homeless.
The worst difficulties came at the end of last May when Tropical Storm Agatha passed over Guatemala, killing 165 people and causing losses valued at almost $1 billion, according to official figures. EFE