Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rivers Rising Again

The rainy season has been bringing plenty of rain to much of Guatemala. Here in Rio Dulce we have not received very much but just about everywhere else in the country has actually been getting too much rain too fast. The ground is already saturated and the rain is coming too fast for it to drain into subterranean aquifers. Instead, it's eroding soil and causing flooding.

Izabal and Zacapa departments are both threatened by the Motagua River which flooded badly during Tropical Storm Agatha and is now flooding again. The Motagua's flood stage alert level is 2 meters. The river is now at 6 meters and rising.

The populations most threatened are those around Morales and Los Amates. About 20,000 people are at risk because their homes are in the flood zone. 800 people have already been evacuated in Los Amates and another 850 in Morales.

In Zacapa approximately 10,000 are at risk. 500 have been evacuated in Gualan where last week's rain damaged 700 homes.

The passage of a tropical wave is expected to cause continued rain today (Thursday) and tonight in the affected areas.