Deadly storm strikes volcano hit Guatemala

At least 12 people have died in
mudslides and floods caused by tropical storm Agatha, which is moving in from
the Pacific Ocean.

The rains are complicating efforts
to clear up ash from the Pacaya Volcano, which began erupting on Thursday.

Guatemala’s main airport will
remain close for at least five days.

Tropical storm Agatha – the first
named storm of the Pacific Hurricane season – is expected to dump at least 50cm
(20in) of rain on Guatemala, as well as El Salvador and southeastern Mexico.

Some rivers have already burst
their banks, destroying bridges and forcing more than a thousand people to flee
their homes.

Four children died when a mudslide
buried their home in Santa Catarina Pinula, on the outskirts of Guatemala City,
officials said.

Elsewhere in the capital, four
people died and 11 are missing after floods swept through their homes.

A state of emergency declared
because of the volcanic eruption has been extended across Guatemala.

Hundreds of people are in shelters
after the Pacaya volcano erupted on Thursday.

Officials are warning that flooding
could be worse than usual because ash from the volcano has blocked drainage
systems.

They fear the rains will turn the
black volcanic ash into cement-like mud.

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