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Guatemala calls for aid after volcanic eruption, tropical storm

English.news.cn   2010-05-31 04:02:24 FeedbackPrintRSS

GUATEMALA CITY, May 30 (Xinhua) - Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom requested the international community to aid his country affected by the eruption of a volcano and the tropical storm Agatha, local press reported on Sunday.

Both natural disasters have caused many people dead or missing, with more people affected. rivers, Floodings have damaged houses, caused landslides cut off road traffics.

During a press conference on Saturday night, Colom said the situation is very serious and it was a national tragedy.

Colom said though Pacaya Volcano, located 45 kilometers south to Guatemalan City, has reduced its activity after the eruption on Thursday, authorities are keeping a close watch over possible new eruption.

Colom also said the great amount of ash thrown by the volcano in around 200 kilometers scope, has caused great difficulties since it covered the roads of the international airport, highways, streets and thousands of houses.

The storm Agatha has degraded to tropical storm, but Colom said the change of magnitude does not mean it has reduced the intensity of the rains, the difference is only on the strength of the wind.

Colom said he has requested the cooperation of friendly governments to send temporary bridges of Bailey type, mattresses, covers and food such as rice, corn, beans and oil.

"To the moment we have assisted the people affected by the volcanic eruption and the rains," Colom added.

On Saturday Mexican President Felipe Calderon offered the airport of Tapachula and Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes offered the airport of Comalapa to be used to receive the international aid for Guatemala.

Colom said the international airport of Guatemala City will remain closed for some days because the rains have forced the suspension of the cleaning works.

He added that in Guatemala Valley there were registered 108 millimeters of rain, a record since 1949.

Editor: yan
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