Eta aims torrential rain at South Florida

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Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei confirmed to reporters on Friday that the storm had caused massive landslides there as well, including one that was estimated to have buried 150 homes in the village of Queja near San Cristobal Verapaz.

Photos of the Queja landslide showed a lengthy strip of brown mud peeled from the lush green hillside.

An "information phase" declared in most of the country requires local authorities to monitor reservoirs and determine when people are in need of evacuation, as well as ensuring the provision of food and medication.

Hundreds of people were left stranded on roofs in Honduras as frantic rescue efforts played out, which were credited with taking around 500 people to safety.

On the forecast track, the centre of Eta will move across the northwestern Caribbean Sea today, approach the Cayman Islands Saturday, and be near Cuba Saturday night and Sunday.

With another ten reported dead in Honduras and two in Nicaragua, the storm's toll is now more than 160 in just a few days.

"Whatever comes out (of Central America) is going to linger a while", said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

Eta came ashore as a hurricane in Nicaragua on Tuesday, with wind speeds of more than 200 kilometers per hour.

We will be monitoring this storm and keeping you updated.

Guatemala's president reported Friday on first confirmed donations to the country, such as food and hygiene kits from the U.S. and Taiwan, or helicopters sent from Panama.

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In 1998, Hurricane Mitch killed at least 9,000 people across the entire region.

The government - well known for preparedness in the face of natural disasters - discussed measures on Friday to evacuate people, especially those living downstream from dams, and protect crops, homes and animals, according to state-run media.

In southern Costa Rica, a landslide killed two people in a house, a Costa Rican woman and an American man, officials said.

"This morning we counted four deaths; That figure has now risen to over 50 deaths due to the mudslides happening in the area of Huehuetenango and San Cristóbal", Giammattei said.

Heavy Rain/Flooding As deep tropical moisture associated with Eta begins to lift into the area, rain chances will steadily increase beginning Saturday afternoon.

Eta could strengthen back into a tropical storm over the warm Caribbean waters before making landfall on the southern coast of central Cuba overnight, the office said, warning of coastal flooding and winds of 80-100 km/h.

In Panama, the damage was concentrated in Chiriqui province, on the border with Costa Rica, where the storm destroyed homes, roads, bridges and crops.

Media in Nicaragua also reported two miners had died in a mudslide. The system continues to travel northwest at 8 miles per hour.

Flash flooding was also possible across Jamaica, southeast Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Cuba.

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