While the Guatemala City sinkhole swallowed an entire three-story building, no one is listed as dead as a result. Residents in the area have moved out and scientists are studying the structural integrity of the hole and surrounding soil, in case it should widen. Meanwhile, the nation is turning its attention to relief operations, in the wake of Tropical Storm Agatha that left more than 180 dead and thousands homeless throughout Central America.
Rains this week will complicate the clean-up and recovery, but Cecilio Martinez, of World Vision in Guatemala City, says that residents who had been in shelters are beginning to return to their homes.
“This morning we are delivering food to those affected,” says Mr. Martinez, by phone from Guatemala City. He says they will also be heading out to the most impacted areas, such as Chimaltenango, to deliver supplies needed like food and blankets. Dozens of roads and bridges have been damaged, slowing the relief efforts.
US Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) Joint Task Force Bravo deployed four military helicopters yesterday from the Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras to support the disaster relief efforts. They are conducting aerial assessments and transporting relief supplies to hard hit areas.