150 Feared dead in Guatemala as rains from Eta continue

Online News Editor

November 6, 2020

Guatemala City, Nov 6 (efe-epa).- Flooding and mudslides caused by rains from Tropical Depression Eta may have claimed as many as 150 lives in northern Guatemala, the Central American country’s president said Friday.

“The unofficial figures – because they are not confirmed – give us some 150 dead,” Alejandro Giammattei said during a press conference at the headquarters of the disaster management agency, Conred.

Guatemala’s official storm death toll stands at eight, while 18 other people are listed as a missing.

Concern centers on Queja, a village in the northern province of Alta Verapaz where a mudslide buried around 150 homes.

Army troops dispatched to the area had to make their way on foot over the mountain to reach the village, Giammattei said, adding that 120 people were evacuated from the nearby communities of Chapenal and Saquixim.

Around 2,500 people in those three villages have lost everything and 75,000 Guatemalans have been affected by the storm, the president said.

At least 6,000 farming families have lost their harvests as flooding has ruined 3,100 hectares (7,654 acres) of crops, Agriculture Minister Jose Angel Lopez told Efe.

In Peten and Quiche provinces, he said, farmers just completed planting the year’s second crop of maize and beans “and some of those new plantings were lost.”

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