Guatemala – 19 Feared Missing After Flash Floods in Guatemala City

Dozens of emergency personnel are search through wreckage left by raging flash floods near Guatemala City, Guatemala after a river broke its banks early on 25 September 2023.

Dios Es Fiel floods Guatemala September 2023. Photo: CONRED

Heavy rain fell in the area overnight, 24 to 25 September, causing the El Naranjo river to break its banks, flooding areas of the Dios Es Fiel settlement in Zone 7 of Guatemala City.

The torrent destroyed 6 homes. Preliminary reports suggested at least 19 people were missing. Several families have evacuated the areas and moved to emergency accommodation.

The President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, expressed his deep concern and solidarity with the affected families.

“Preliminarily there are deaths, missing people and damage to homes,” he said.

Several teams of firefighters and personnel from the country’s disaster agency CONRED (Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres), assisted by sniffer dogs, started Search and Rescue operations in the early hours of 25 September.

Later on 25 September authorities confirmed the bodies of 6 victims had been found.

Heavy rain has taken its toll in other areas of the country in recent days. On 22 September, five workers who were digging trenches for a pipeline died after heavy rain caused part of the building site to collapse in the San Cristóbal neighbourhood, San Pedro Yepocapa in Chimaltenango Department.

CONRED reported on 25 September that at least 32 people people have lost their lives in over 800 rain-related incidents during the current rainy season.

Dios Es Fiel floods Guatemala September 2023. Photo: CONRED