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14 killed in Guatemala floods, Colom declares emergency

International Desk |
Update: 2010-09-04 17:17:19
14 killed in Guatemala floods, Colom declares emergency

GUATEMALA CITY: President Alvaro Colom declared a national emergency in Guatemala after weeks of driving rains triggered landslides Saturday that killed 10 people on a bus and four inside a home.

"Top priority at present is dealing with this emergency. There are no funds left to deal with earlier disasters like the one caused by (tropical storm) Agatha," in late May, Colom told reporters after a surveying tour of the country.

He said damage estimates across Guatemala after weeks of rain stood at 350-500 million dollars, or 40 percent of the damage wrought by Agatha, which killed 183 people in Central America, including 165 in Guatemala, and left thousands homeless.

The latest rains triggered two landslides Saturday. One swept away a bus on a road near central Chimaltenango city killing at least 10 people and injuring 20; the other killed four people inside a house in western Quetzaltenango.

Guatemala`s meteorologists have forecast another 24-36 hours of heavy rain throughout most of the country.

BDST: 1000 HRS, September 5, 2010

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