Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Leading human rights activist shot in Burundi's capital

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Migrant Crisis: The Blame Game

Read more

THE DEBATE

Kerry Middle East Tour

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Greek shares plunge as trading resumes in Athens

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Gulf countries need proof and guarantees'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The deadly French-English border'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

#CecilTheLion : Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Erdogan’s gamble: Turkey launches offensives on PKK and Islamic State Group (part 2)

Read more

Americas

Tropical storm hits Central America, killing 15

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-05-30

The season's first tropical storm loomed over Central America's Pacific coast on Saturday, after killing one person in El Salvador and 14 in Guatemala, a country already struggling to cope with a huge volcanic eruption.

AFP - The first tropical storm of the season threatened Central America's Pacific coast Saturday after killing 15 people in two countries, as Guatemala coped with twin natural catastrophes including a massive volcano eruption.
  
Tropical Storm Agatha, with 65 kilometers (40 miles) per hour winds and up to half a meter (20 inches) of rain was 30 kilometers (20 miles) southwest of the Guatemala-Mexico border. It was expected to make landfall overnight, the US National Weather Service said.
  
In Guatemala, the storm has already dumped 36 centimeters (14 inches) of rain, triggering flash floods and landslides that killed 14 people Saturday, including four adults and four children inside homes buried by mudslides, officials said.
  
The the National Disaster Agency did not indicate the circumstances of the remaining storm fatalities, but said 12 Austrian tourists were rescued from a resort area that was cut off by a sinkhole in its only road access.
  
Eleven persons were reported missing in the western part of the country, it added.
  
In El Salvador, also hit by Agatha's driving rains, one person was killed, authorities there reported. 
  
Confronted by the storm and by the erupting Pacaya volcano, which since Wednesday has killed two people including a television reporter and closed down the country's main airport for five days, President Alvaro Colom called on his countrymen to pull together.
  
"I call for unity... all of us Guatemalans are challenged by this great trial we're facing... so we must organize ourselves better and maintain the spirit of solidarity that has emerged these past few days," he said during an emergency cabinet meeting.
  
Colom on Friday declared a state of emergency around volcano Pacaya, 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the capital, where some 2,000 people have been evacuated, and on Saturday said he was mulling extending the emergency blanket nationwide as Agatha wreaked havoc.
  
He said he had canceled his scheduled visits to the Dominican Republic and Canada next week to devote all his attention to the storm and ongoing eruption.
  
The capital's La Aurora International Airport will remain closed for five days as cleaning crews hampered by driving rain try to clean up centimeters (inches) -thick ash from the volcano.
  
Colom said six departments were currently awash from the storm, with three of them reporting highways cut off by floods and mudslides. He warned people in the area to remain indoors.
  
He said the government would seek an 85-million-dollar loan to cope with the twin natural disasters.
  
In neighboring El Salvador, the government reported one person killed from Agatha and said it raised the color-coded national alert system from green to yellow at the approaching storm.
  
It reported three rivers overflowing their banks in the western part of the country, with some areas undergoing precautionary evacuations.
 

Date created : 2010-05-30

  • VOLCANO

    Volcanic eruptions in Ecuador and Guatemala force out thousands

    Read more

COMMENT(S)