Guatemala City – Authorities on Thursday declared a red alert in the southeastern Guatemalan province of Santa Rosa after flooding caused five deaths and damaged the property of more than 6,200 people.
The spokesman for the Conred emergency management agency, David de Leon, told reporters that officially the death toll stands at five, there are four people missing and one who was injured in the flooding caused Wednesday night by the overflowing of the San Juan River in the municipality of Cuilapa.
De Leon said that the overflowing of the river due to the torrential rain left 6,237 people with property damage, of whom 104 were evacuated and 80 of them taken to a temporary shelter because they had lost all their belongings.
The official said that 1,243 homes experienced various damage.
Conred sent assorted machinery from the capital to help clean up the urban area of Cuilapa, which was covered with mud and stones by the flooding.
The San Juan River swept away everything in its path including vehicles, animals and items in many of the affected homes, Santa Rosa Gov. Mynor Morales told reporters.
Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom on Thursday visited the disaster zone to coordinate humanitarian aid and the cleanup efforts.