First tropical storm of hurricane season kills four - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

First tropical storm of hurricane season kills four

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) - Tropical Storm Agatha, the first of the season, formed Saturday off the Pacific coast of Guatemala, where its heavy rains dislodged a boulder that killed four people.

The poor Central American country was already contending with heavy eruptions from its Pacaya volcano that have blanketed the capital in ash and destroyed 800 homes.

Officials worried Saturday that Agatha's heavy rains could exacerbate the damage by turning black volcanic ash into cement-like mud.

The tropical storm was centered about 105 miles (170 kilometers)

west of Puerto de San Jose, Guatemala, and moving toward the northeast at 7 mph (11 kph), said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. It had maximum sustained winds of 45 mph (75 kph). A tropical storm warning was in effect for a stretch of coastline from El Salvador to far-southern Mexico, and the hurricane center said Agatha is expected to make landfall on Guatemala's coast late Saturday or early Sunday. Forecasters said its pounding rains and gusting winds were already hitting the coastline by late Saturday afternoon.

Agatha was expected to dump from 10 to 20 inches (25 to 50 centimeters) of rain and as much as 30 inches (75 centimeters) in isolated areas of Guatemala, threatening dangerous floods and mudslides. Guatemalan disaster relief spokesman David Leon said officials worry that the rains could exacerbate the damage done by explosions from the Pacaya volcano.

Leon said two children and two adults were killed Saturday when rains generated by Agatha dislodged a boulder that crushed a house they were in. The deaths happened in the department of

Quetzaltenango, 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Guatemala City and outside the area affected by Pacaya. Pacaya, which is just south of the capital, started spewing lava and rocks Thursday afternoon, forcing the closure of Guatemala

City's international airport. A TV reporter was killed by a shower of burning rocks.

Airport official Felipe Castaneda told reporters Saturday that the airport would be closed for the next five days.

"The work to remove the ash was going forward, but the rain has complicated it," Castaneda said.

In El Salvador, authorities began evacuating hundreds of families in areas at risk for landslides and flooding, suspending fishing and tourism along the Pacific coast.

Five days of steady rainfall has already swollen a major river flowing through the capital San Salvador.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 'Home Alone' dad John Heard dies at 72

    'Home Alone' dad John Heard dies at 72

    Saturday, July 22 2017 10:26 AM EDT2017-07-22 14:26:16 GMT
    Saturday, July 22 2017 11:22 AM EDT2017-07-22 15:22:00 GMT

    John Heard appeared in numerous movies and television shows throughout a lengthy acting career, but it was his role as the father of Macauley Culkin's character in two "Home Alone" films that gained him notoriety.

    More >>

    John Heard appeared in numerous movies and television shows throughout a lengthy acting career, but it was his role as the father of Macauley Culkin's character in two "Home Alone" films that gained him notoriety.

    More >>
  • Firefighters from five counties battle huge fire in Granite Falls

    Firefighters from five counties battle huge fire in Granite Falls

    Saturday, July 22 2017 12:08 PM EDT2017-07-22 16:08:40 GMT

    The fire broke out at the Old Shuford Mill on Falls Avenue in Granite Falls, right across the street from the Granite Falls Police Department.

    More >>

    The fire broke out at the Old Shuford Mill on Falls Avenue in Granite Falls, right across the street from the Granite Falls Police Department.

    More >>
  • NASA issues warning: You may have a bad pair of eclipse glasses

    NASA issues warning: You may have a bad pair of eclipse glasses

    Friday, July 21 2017 11:22 AM EDT2017-07-21 15:22:03 GMT
    The path of the total solar eciipse on August 21, 2017 crosses directly over Columbia and the Midlands. (Source: NASA)The path of the total solar eciipse on August 21, 2017 crosses directly over Columbia and the Midlands. (Source: NASA)

    As the world, the United States, and South Carolina prepared for arguably the coolest celestial event in decades, our old friends at NASA want you to know that pairs of unsafe solar eclipse glasses are being distributed. 

    More >>

    As the world, the United States, and South Carolina prepared for arguably the coolest celestial event in decades, our old friends at NASA want you to know that pairs of unsafe solar eclipse glasses are being distributed. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly