Guatemalan authorities have issued weather warnings and evacuation orders as Tropical Storm Nana's is expected to trek across Peten Department after making landfall in Belize on Thursday, September 3. According to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) in its latest advisory at 18:00 (local time) on Wednesday, September 2, Nana was about 160 km (100 miles) east-southeast of Belize City, Belize with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (97 kph), moving west at 15 mph (24 kph). Aside from tropical-storm-force winds, forecasters have warned that Nana could produce rainfall capable of causing flash flooding in parts of Guatemala. The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conred) has stated that strategic intervention and immediate response teams will be mobilizing to different areas of the country, including Peten, Izabal, Alta Verapaz, Huehuetenango, and Quetzaltenango as significant rainfall in recent days has left saturated land across much of the northern regions of the county, adding to the risk of landslides and flash floods.
Further strengthening of the storm is possible in the near term. Heavy rainfall and associated flooding are possible over the coming days, along with evacuations and associated disruptions to business and transport.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from late May through to the end of November, with activity typically peaking in late August and early September. Numerous tropical storms form in the Atlantic Ocean during this period, with most affecting the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the east coast of the United States. Although communities in the region are generally well prepared for adverse weather conditions during the hurricane season, severe storms bring a significant risk of flooding and infrastructural damage.
Organized activity tends to peak in August and September. Storms tend to flood sections of highways and cause dirt-based roads to become temporarily impassable. More organized systems, depending on intensity, can prove catastrophic in terms of tidal surge, wind damage, flooding, and mudslides.
Those in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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