The death toll in Central America, cited at 150 today, continues to rise in the wake of tropical storm Agatha. In addition to these deaths, the storm, which reached land on Saturday, has destroyed bridges, caused flooding and mudslides and, dramatically, opened a 30-story sink hole in Guatemala City.
Guatemala seems to have been the hardest hit with at least 82 deaths and over 110,000 evacuated. Even so, El Salvador saw 140 landslides, 9 dead, and over 8,000 evacuated while Honduras suffered the destruction of 505 homes and the evacuation of 2,250 people.
Aid response has been swift as the Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador branches of the Red Cross react to the disaster. They remain in contact with other Red Cross branches to gauge an international response. Americares too, is mounting disaster relief efforts and today, the EU announced that it would send $3.7 million in storm aid to Central America.
Though relief is underway, governor of the Chimaltenango province reported that “there are a lot of dead people. The roads are blocked. The shelters are overflowing. We need water, food, clothes, blankets…” In that province, landslides have buried dozens of rural Indian communities and killed at least 60 people.
The Seattle International Foundation is meeting this week with partners to begin providing support and direct assistance to these vulnerable populations.