Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Death Toll Could Reach 2,000 in Guatemala



The disaster in Pakistan quickly overshadowed the tragedy bestowed by Hurricane Stan in Central America. This is a shame and the US's paltry response is a lost opportunity for the US, as the tragedy is as murderous as Katrina and in our own backyard. Maybe if it was Guatemala or El Salvador and not Nicaragua with elecitons coming up soon...

Guatemala, Oct 11
Prensa Latina

As the UN launched an appeal for international aid to Guatemala, fears rise that the death toll from torrential rains, floods and devastating mudslides could reach 2,000.

More than 650 are confirmed dead, but 1,400 are still missing. Rescuers have been forced to suspend their hard work as the mud has solidified in the most affected areas six days after tropical storm Stan brought torrential rains to Central America.

The United Nations has launched a $22 million appeal in aid for Guatemalan survivors of floods and landslides. The UN said that providing food, water, shelter and sanitation are priorities at this moment.

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger said 130,000 people were directly hit by the storm in western Guatemala, particularly the Mayan villages of Panabaj and Tzanchaj and surrounding areas. Over 90,000 people are still living in government shelters.

President Oscar Berger has urged the international community to help his nation of 11.2 million people. Several countries, including Japan, Mexico, Spain, France, Cuba and Canada, have pledged help for Guatemala.

Cuba has committed 575 doctors to the recovery of Guatemala and the final 300 of them have landed in the country.

end of article

In Guatemala, the United States has provided more than $250,000 in relief supplies.

View a slideshow of the devastation at MSNBC.

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