Four killed as Tropical Storm Agatha, first of the Eastern Pacific season, closes in on GuatemalaMay 30th, 2010 - 5:04 am ICT by BNO News
MIAMI (BNO NEWS) — Tropical Storm Agatha, the first of the 2010 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season, formed off the coast of Guatemala on Saturday. Four people have already been killed.
At 2 p.m. PDT (2100 UTC), the center of the storm was located about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Tapachula, a municipality in the Mexican state of Chiapas. It is currently moving northeast towards Guatemala at a speed of 7 miles per hour (11 km/hr), a motion which is expected to continue through Sunday.
“Agatha is expected to continue moving in a northeastward or east-northeastward direction for the next 24 hours as the cyclone moves around the west side of a broad mid-level ridge that lies along 12N latitude,” said U.S. National Hurricane Center forecaster Stewart. “Landfall is expected to occur along the Guatemalan coast by Sunday morning. After landfall, the mountainous terrain just inland from the coast is expected to cause the low-level circulation to decouple from the mid-to upper-level circulation,” he added.
After Agatha made landfall on the Guatemalan coast, the storm is expected to weaken quickly. “There is still some room for slight additional strengthening before Agatha makes landfall,” Stewart said. “But the window of opportunity is quickly closing now due to the faster forward speed.”
Even though surface winds are expected to weaken soon after landfall, a very moist southwesterly flow on the east side of Agatha will continue to spread across much of Guatemala and El Salvador, which will continue the heavy rainfall threat even after the system ceases to exist as a tropical cyclone.
“Due to the slow forward speed and interaction with high terrain, the main impact from Agatha will be extremely heavy rainfall,” Stewart added. “These rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mud slides over southeastern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and as far inland as Honduras.”
A tropical storm warning remains in effect for the Pacific coasts of extreme Mexico, all of Guatemala, and all of El Salvador from Boca de Pijijiapan, Mexico southeastward to the El Salvador-Honduras border. Heavy rains and gusty winds are already affecting the warning area as the storm moves inland.
According to emergency officials, four people - including two children - were killed in a landslide that occurred in the Guatemalan municipality of Almolonga. Thousands more have been left homeless by the heavy rains, which destroyed many homes.
Agatha is the first tropical storm of the 2010 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season.
- 73 killed in Guatemala tropical storm - May 31, 2010
- 23 die as hurricane rains hit Central America - Oct 13, 2011
- Tropical storm Agatha kills 40 in Guatemala (Lead) - May 31, 2010
- Tropical storm Agatha pours over Guatemala and El Salvador - Jun 02, 2010
- Tropical storm Agatha kills 46 in Central America - May 31, 2010
- Category four hurricane Hilary could threaten Baja California - Sep 24, 2011
- Toll in storm Agatha rises to 100 (Third Lead) - May 31, 2010
- Tropical Storm Eugene forms in the Pacific, no threat to land - Jul 31, 2011
- Tropical Storm Dora forms south of Guatemala, expected to become a hurricane - Jul 19, 2011
- Low pressure system off Mexico's Pacific coast may develop into a tropical depression - May 29, 2010
- Alex Warnings Intensify, President Declares Emergency In Texas - Jun 30, 2010
- Tropical Storm Paula forms in the northwestern Caribbean - Oct 12, 2010
- Hurricane Jova to strike Mexico soon - Oct 11, 2011
- Tropical storm Beatriz forms off the Pacific coast of Mexico; hurricane watch issued - Jun 20, 2011
- Tropical Storm Kenneth forms in the Eastern Pacific, expected to strengthen - Nov 21, 2011
Tags: agatha, bno, center of the storm, flash floods, forward speed, guatemalan, hurricane season, landfall, mid level, miles per hour, mountainous terrain, mud slides, national hurricane center, southeastern mexico, southwesterly flow, state of chiapas, storm warning, surface winds, tropical cyclone, window of opportunity