President Alejandro Giammattei issued a statement on Monday, November 2, warning that Guatemala and other countries in central America needed to prepare for the impact of Hurricane Eta, which made landfall in north-eastern Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday, November 3. The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) also stated on Monday that they were monitoring the storm and preparing to respond. Eta is forecast to weaken upon making landfall before tracking towards southern Guatemala on Wednesday, November 4, and Thursday, November 5.
CONRED stated that most of the country will be affected by the storm, with worst-hit areas receiving 250 to 300 mm (10 to 20 in) of rainfall in the coming days, with isolated areas receiving as much as 635 mm (25 in). The heavy rainfall in the coming days may cause floods and landslides in some areas, along with associated disruptions to transport, businesses, and utilities.
The country's rainy season occurs between June and November, which is also the period time that approximately corresponds to the Atlantic hurricane season; 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 affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
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