Guatemala: Floods and Landslides - Oct 2015

Past disaster

Disaster description

Heavy rains in Guatemala on 6 Jun 2015 resulted in floods and landslides, affecting more than 8,000 people in the departments of Guatemala and Sacatepéquez. (Gov. of Guatemala, 7 Jun 2015)

On 13 June, authorities also reported about 1,500 people affected and 109 houses damaged by floods in the departments of Escuintla, San Marcos and Suchitepéquez. (Gov. of Guatemala, 7 Jun 2015)

Early August, the overflow of the Semuch river in the department of Izabal led to the declaration of orange alert. (Government of Guatemala, 6 Aug 2015) The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction undertook a damage assessments and needs analysis in the area and report 8,291people affected, about 1,109 were evacuated, and 2 went missing. (OCHA, 10 Aug 2015)

Late September around 155,205 people were affected by torrential rains that caused mudslides, landslides and flooding. Since the rainy season started in April, reports indicate 229 incidents or emergencies, 431,129 people affected, 6,168 evacuated, 3 missing persons, 8 deaths and 3,230 houses damaged. (OCHA, 28 Sep 2015)

On 1 October 2015 at 21:30 hours in the neighbourhood of El Cambray II, Santa Catarina Pinula municipality in Guatemala, a massive landslide devastated an area of approximately 160 lineal meters caused by heavy rains. Preliminary information indicates 600 people are missing, 12 people have been found dead and more than 100 homes buried. The National Disaster Risk Reduction Coordination Office (CONRED) reports this area has been declared high risk since 2008. (IFRC, 3 Oct 2015)

On 13 October the authorities declared a red alert in El Cambray II, municipality of Santa Catarina Pinula, department of Guatemala, following the deadly landslide that left 274 dead and 353 people missing. (OCHA, 13 Oct 2015)

Rains that occurred between 25-29 October triggered floods in the departments of Escuintla, Retalhuleu and Suchitepéquez, affecting around 2,325 people and causing damage to hundreds of houses. (Gov't of Guatemala, 30 Oct 2015)

Mid-November, more than 4,000 people were affected by floods caused by heavy rains in the departments of Petén and Alta Verapaz. (Gov't of Guatemala, 19 Nov 2015)

Heavy rainfall affected northern, eastern and south-western Guatemala in late November. Consequent to the rain, the national disaster management authorities reported overflow along sections of the rivers Polochic, La Pasión and Samalá, affecting more than 2 900 people in the departments of Alta Verapaz (river Polochic) and Petén (river a Pasión), as well as in the department of Retalhuleu (river Samalá) in south-western Guatemala. Suchitepequez has also experienced damage from rain and river overflow. Worst affected is the municipality of Panzós in Alta Verapaz, where 12 communities were flooded, as of 25 November. (ECHO, 27 Nov 2015)

The departments of Izabal and Quiché were affected by rainfall during the weekend of 19 December. According to reports, 553 people were affected and 113 homes were damaged. (PAHO, 23 Dec 2015)

The government indicated that during 2015 floods and landslides caused by heavy rains affected some 767,000 people and prompted the evacuation of 13,869. Seventy-three people went missing, while 290 passed away. More than 10,000 houses were damaged. (Gov't of Guatemala, 5 Jan 2016)

Mid-January the Government indicated that due to the El Niño phenomenon, the temperatures may increase, causing a reduction in rainfall. (Gov't of Guatemala, 12 Jan 2016) Early February farmers were concerned the abundant rains may destroy their crops and asked the government for their help. (RedHum, 2 Feb 2016)

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