Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei has said that the death toll due to the tropical storm Etam that slammed his country earlier this week, could reach 150.
At a press conference here on Friday, Giammattei said that a rescue brigade entered Queja village in Alta Verapaz Department earlier in the day, where the Guatemalan Army reported that around 150 houses had been buried by landslides, reports Xinhua news agency.
“Among the deceased and disappeared, the unofficial figures show us 150 dead. They are unofficial because we do not have them fully confirmed,” said the President.
Giammattei added that more than 75,000 people had been directly affected by the landslides and floods.
The President said that several groups of people in affected areas have refused to leave their homes despite severe floods.
Later in the day in a tweet, he further said: “We will use every resource, human or material, because we will get through this together.”
The President also posted video of rescue teams delivering aid via helicopter.
The country’s National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction said that only eight deaths have been officially confirmed so far.