Sunday, September 5, 2010

Hot in Rio Dulce

As I write this at 3:00 PM on Sunday, the outside shade temperature right now is 37.4C and the RH is 55%. That's a heat index of 50C / 122F.

Whew!

One Disaster After Another in Guatemala

The constant rains in the western half of Guatemala have been causing so many problems and disasters that it's hard to keep up with it. I've been waiting for things to calm down a bit before writing another article but instead of calming down it's getting worse.

This morning it was reported that approximately 40 rescue workers and volunteers working to recover bodies from a landslide in Solola were themselves buried by a second landslide that occurred around 7:00 PM last night. This landslide is located at km 171 at Cumbre de Alaska, Solola. Nine were reported dead as of 10:15 AM this morning.

Flooding, landslides, collapses, road and bridge washouts have been happening all over western Guatemala. The map posted with this article was published last night by Conred and shows a list of events and their locations. Clicking the map should allow you to view it at full size.

The Departments of Retalhuleu, Suchitepequez, and Escuintla have been placed on red alert due to the severity of the damage. Because of widespread damage to the roads and blockages due to landslides in western Guatemala, the government is recommending against travel by road.

The latest numbers were released at 7:30 PM last night and report 21 dead and 34,146 persons displaced.

The major rivers of Guatemala continue at above alert levels and are not expected to drop any time soon.

Tropical Depression 11E which formed from a trough over Oaxaca, Mexico, was the main cause of the most recent damage. The remnant of 11E, which is very large and affects a wide area, has now moved over the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to strengthen rapidly. This system will likely bring another mass of moist unstable air over Guatemala today (Sunday), and more thunderstorms and rain.