Central America – Heavy Rain Triggers Floods in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

Hundreds of homes have been damaged after days of heavy rainfall in Central America caused flooding and landslides in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.

Floods in Cajolá, Quetzaltenango Guatemala, 18 May 2020. Photo: CONRED


In Guatemala the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of (CONRED) reported floods and landslides between 15 and 18 May affected the departments of Chiquimula, El Progreso, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango and Zacapa.

According to CONRED, 88 people were evacuated and 37 houses damaged or destroyed, including 15 homes damaged by floods in Cajolá, Quetzaltenango when the Samalá river broke its banks. Two people were injured in a rockslide in Jocotán, Chiquimula.

Over 10,000 people were affected after a landslide blocked an important road in Sanarate, El Progreso department.

Earlier this month 3 people died after flooding and landslides in Guatemala between 09 and 11 May.

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In Honduras, strong wind and heavy rain from 19 to 20 May triggered flooding and landslides in the capital, Tegucigalpa. According to WMO figures, 102.9 mm of rain fell in the city in 24 hours to 20 May.

Rockslide in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, 20 may 2020. Photo: Bomberos Honduras

Strong winds downed trees and floods and landslides caused walls and buildings to collapse. The country’s disaster agency COPECO said 23 homes were damaged in total, affecting 115 people across several neighbourhoods of the city, with Barrio Los Jucos among the worst affected.

The Fire Service attended around 20 weather related incidents, including a rockslide in the Los Laures neighbourhood which crushed a vehicle and severely damaged a home.

COPECO issued warnings for heavy rain and landslides in 10 departments in the south and west of the country.

A few days ago heavy rain and flooding damaged over 30 homes in the 21 de Febrero and Flor del Campo neighbourhoods on 14 May.

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El Salvador

Heavy rain has also affected El Salvador in recent days.

On 13 May, around 50 homes in the Santa Lucía neighborhood of San Salvador were flooded. Flood water rose to about two and a half meters and carried vehicles, stones, branches and mud.

In October last year hundreds of people evacuated their homes in the same neighbourhood after heavy rain caused a landslide which left a 70 metre deep hole.

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