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Rain threatens more damage in storm-battered Guatemala

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • NEW: Some residents nervous about sinkholes, official says
  • Two rivers already overflowing
  • Residents evacuate 25 flooded homes
  • Rain-swollen river damages bridge

Guatemala City, Guatemala (CNN) -- Emergency authorities said Wednesday they are on watch for sinkholes and other possible problems in Guatemala, where heavy rain has already caused two rivers to overflow and a tropical storm led to the deaths of more than 150 people in May.

The Dinamo River has flooded 25 homes in the city of Escuintla, in southern Guatemala near the Pacific coast, the nation's disaster agency said Tuesday. Residents of those homes were forced to evacuate. In addition, officials said, the rain-swollen Achiguate River has damaged a bridge.

Tropical Storm Agatha and heavy rain that followed it caused a dramatic sinkhole in Guatemala City, and officials say they are concerned that others may develop because of the current downpours.

Emergency official Juan Pablo Ligorria said his office has received numerous calls from nervous residents who say they have heard strange underground rumblings. The concerns are investigated, Ligorria said.

Forecasters are predicting rain for the next 48 hours, with light rain in the morning and heavy showers in the afternoons and evenings, said Juan Jose Sinay, a forecaster with the nation's weather service. And officials are keeping an eye on two nearby disturbances in the Pacific Ocean that could develop into tropical storms.

Mudslides and flooding from Tropical Storm Agatha caused more than 175 deaths in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Journalist Alexia Rios Hayashi contributed to this report.