Guatemala Declares 30-Day State of Emergency Due to Heavy Rains

Government Declares State of Calamity in Response to Excessive Rains

The government has approved a measure declaring a state of calamity in response to excessive rains that have caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure. The decision was published in the official gazette on Monday and restricts some constitutional rights, including freedom of movement.

Congress Has Three Days to Ratify or Reject the Measure

The opposition-dominated Congress now has three days to ratify, modify, or reject the presidential decision. If approved, the government will have financial resources to deal with emergencies without calling for tenders.

Government Cites Study by Local Meteorological Institute

The government cited a study by the local meteorological institute, which determined an excess of rains in the current season, causing soil saturation and significant damage to homes and infrastructure. The conditions have increased the risk of events that could affect the rights of vulnerable populations in the country, where 59% of the 17.7 million inhabitants live in poverty.

Evacuations and Damage Mitigation Measures Ordered

With the approval of the state of calamity, the state Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) is ordered to evacuate people who are in the affected regions or who are in danger. Conred must also implement all actions that allow for the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of damages resulting from the effects of the rainy season.

Rainy Season Statistics

According to Conred, during the rainy season, which runs from early May to November, there have been 1,000,000 cases of damage, 13 dead, five injured, 16,844 evacuated, and 4.9 million people affected mainly by floods, landslides, and mudslides. Additionally, five bridges have been destroyed, 33 people affected, and 439 roads and almost 7,000 homes damaged since May.

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