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Guatemalan authorities warn of possible risks due to hurricane Beryl

Guatemala City, Jul 4 (Prensa Latina) Guatemalan authorities warned on Thursday about indirect effects, possible risks and vulnerabilities due to the passage through the Caribbean Sea of hurricane Beryl, category three, off the coasts of the country.

On a press conference from the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, the head of the forecast center Edwin Rojas pointed out that the main risk is flooding, which no longer have the capacity to let the rain pass through.

Rojas remarked that the saturation index in the upper layer is between 80% and 90% of the accumulated rainfall registered since the beginning of June, which could cause dangerous events.

Concerning the atmospheric phenomenon, a little over 700 kilometers from the coasts of Guatemala, he specified first that it could start to generate rains on Thursday evening and on Friday, with an increase on Saturday and Sunday.

Rojas referred that the estimates indicated approximately 200 millimeters of water until Sunday and recalled the existence of swollen rivers up to the now, which could present sudden overflows.

The director argued that these short Pacific tributaries, with important slopes, generally cause mobility problems or impediments to cross them.

The director of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology also alerted the Boca Costa, Central Highlands, Western, Northern Transversal Strip and Caribbean regions.

The Executive Secretary of CONRED Claudinne Ogaldes explained that they coordinated the prepositioning of Strategic Intervention and Immediate Response Teams.

Ogaldes underscored that they were deployed to the departments of Alta Verapaz, Quiche, Peten, Izabal, Retalhuleu and Suchitepequez to provide support for foreseeable incidents during the rainy season and to prevent Beryl.

They further held a meeting with departmental governors and mayors to coordinate prevention and response actions.

The Minister of Defense and Coordinator of the National Council for Disaster Reduction, Henry Saenz, insisted that it is not only rainfalls, it is water saturation that can cause a disaster.

CONRED recommended to keep posted through official sources, to prepare a family response plan, to secure roofs, doors and windows in homes, as well as to follow the indications and to know the local plans.

Projections agree that Beryl, weakened but equally strong with category two, would impact the Yucatan Peninsula at the crack of Friday morning.