Tropical Storm Amanda kills 17 people in El Salvador and Guatemala

USA TODAY (June 1, 2020).- The remnants of Tropical Storm Amanda formed into a tropical depression on Monday after killing at least 17 people in El Salvador and Guatemala, where heavy rains produced flooding and landslides.

The weather disturbance is expected to move through the Gulf of Mexico in the coming days, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, and is likely to regain tropical storm strength over the milder waters of the Bay of Campeche in Mexico.

Amanda’s remnants are predicted to produce heavy rains in El Salvador, southern Guatemala, western Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, and parts of Mexico, according to the hurricane center. 

“This rainfall may produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides,” according to a news bulletin on the site.

The storm could track into the Gulf of Mexico by the weekend, becoming the third named Atlantic tropical storm of the season by Tuesday, meaning winds of 39 mph or greater. It would be named Tropical Storm Cristobal.

Such were the conditions in El Salvador and Guatemala, which took the brunt of Amanda’s force.

“The storm has come to show how vulnerable this country is, as well as the lack of investment in infrastructure,” El Salvador Interior Minister Mario Durán said.

El Salvador was devastated by flash floods, landslides, and power outages as it ripped into poor Central American states. Durán said Monday some 7,000 people were scattered across 154 shelters as torrential rain caused landslides and flooding, which damaged at least 900 homes.

The storm hit later Sunday in Guatemala, where heavy rains killed two people, according to Guatemalan officials.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calls for a 60% likelihood of an above-average storm season, with a 70% chance of 13 to 19 named storms, six to 10 of which will become hurricanes.