The rains that have deluged Guatemala over the past week have taken 35 lives and affected 500,000 people nationwide, authorities said Tuesday.

More than 35,000 people have been forced to abandon their homes, according to the latest bulletin from the Conred emergency management agency.

Although the rains have begun to slacken, emergency workers were working on Tuesday to recover the bodies of three people who fell into a river that undermined a roadway, as well as the bodies of four other people who were buried in a mudslide.

The official report says that 35 people have died, 19 have been injured and six are missing as a result of the rains that have been drenching the Central American nation for the past week.

Mudslides and floods also have caused severe damage to 52 percent of the country's road system, as well as to 4,528 homes.

Landslides have buried portions of dozens of roads, forcing authorities to close them until they can be cleared.

A preliminary report by the Agriculture Ministry said that the losses to crops so far are valued at some 73 million quetzales ($9.2 million).

According to official weather forecasts by the Insivumeh meteorological agency, the rains will diminish considerably starting on Wednesday.

The same weather system is blamed for a total of 53 deaths in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.