Latin America & the Caribbean: Weekly Situation Update (14-21 October 2019) As of 21 October 2019
- 101.6K PEOPLE AFFECTED BY FLOODING AND LANDSLIDES IN GUATEMALA BETWEEN 13-16 OCTOBER
- 400 HOMES AT RISK OF COLLAPSING AFTER HEAVY RAINS AND FLOODING IN EL SALVADOR
- 530 FAMILIES AFFECTED BY RAINFALL AND FLOODING IN 14 MUNICIPALITIES IN NICARAGUA
CENTRAL AMERICA: FLOODING
GUATEMALA According to information from 17 October from the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED), the recent spate of heavy rains and ensuing flooding and landslides is affecting various departments, including Baja Verapaz, Guatemala, Petén, Retalhuleu, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Sololá and Suchitepéquez. The heavy rains have also triggered lahar flows down the Volcán de Fuego volcano in Chimaltenango.
CONRED assisted some 101,600 people between 13-16 October. Escuintla and Suchitepéquez declared yellow and orange alerts, respectively. Shelters in Guatemala and Suchitepéquez are currently housing 47 people. The Ministry of Education suspended classes in Sololá, Sacatepéquez and Suchitepéquez. President Jimmy Morales activated security protocols on 16 October to coordinate response actions.
The UN Emergency Technical Team (UNETT) and Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) are monitoring the situation and exchanging information.
CONRED reports that since the beginning of the rainy season in May, eight people have died and nearly 4,000 people have been evacuated, with damages to 2,400 homes, 12 schools and three bridges.
CONRED has delivered some 49 tons of humanitarian goods to affected families during the season, delivering 16 tons between 12-16 October. Government officials say they currently have the resources and capacities to respond.
According to Civil Protection, severe weather in El Salvador from 12 October has led to at least four deaths. The Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources noted that rains from 15 October totaled a week’s worth of rainfall. Authorities in the Ilopango municipality identified some 400 homes at risk of collapsing due to landslips from weakened soil, leading to the preemptive evacuation of hundreds of people.
In response to the flooding and landslides caused by heavy rainfall, Civil Protection declared an orange level alert along the Pacific coast and El Salvador’s volcanic range and a yellow level alert for the rest of the country. The Ministry of Education suspended all school activity, as well.
Between 13-15 October, heavy rainfall affected western and central Nicaragua, leading to overflowing rivers and flooding. The most affected departments are Chontales, Madriz, Managua, Matagalpa, Nueva Segovia and Río San Juan.
According to local media reports, the flooding claimed four lives and affected more than 530 families across 14 municipalities, while also damaging 525 buildings in affected areas.
The National Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Response System (SINAPRED) declared a national level green alert and are responding with local capacities.