Guatemala Floods: President Alvaro Colom Declares State of Emergency

Added: 4. September 2010

Related article: Heavy rains devastate Guatemala (BBC News)

Guatemala floods leave 20 dead, emergency declared

A bus was caught in a landslide killing at least ten people near central Chimaltenango city

GUATEMALA CITY — At least 20 people were killed in Guatemala in landslides triggered by weeks of driving rains, according to figures released by national emergency and rescue services.

President Alvaro Colom has declared a national emergency in the wake of the disaster.

“Top priority at present is dealing with this emergency. There are no funds left to deal with earlier disasters like the one caused by tropical storm Agatha,” in late May, Colom told reporters after a surveying tour of the country Saturday

He said damage estimates across Guatemala after weeks of rain stood at 350-500 million dollars, or 40 percent of the damage wrought by Agatha, which killed 183 people in Central America, including 165 in Guatemala earlier this year, and left thousands homeless.

The latest rains have triggered several dozen landslides around the country.

One swept away a bus on a road near central Chimaltenango city killing at least 10 people and injuring 20.

The other killed four people inside a house in western Quetzaltenango.

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