Image credit: Watchers News
Just as the official hurricane season starts (1 June to 30 November), the first named storm of the season, Storm Amanda, has killed at least 14 people as it battered El Salvador and Guatemala on Sunday.
As the storm's heavy rains burst river banks, flooded city streets and produced hazardous landslides, the impacted regions have found themselves in an "overwhelming" situation according to Interior Minister Mario Duran.
Salvadorian civil protection authorities have confirmed that among those killed was an eight-year-old boy, who died after the house he was in collapsed, whilst another person was killed by a falling wall and another drowned in a swollen river.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) has stated that Storm Amanda or its remnants are expected to produce rain totals of 10 to 15 inches over El Salvador, southern Guatemala, western Honduras, and the Mexican states of Tabasco and Veracruz.
The storm is believed to still cause danger to life several days after the storm is declassified from a tropical cyclone as heavy rainfall could "cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides across portions of Central America and southern Mexico", said the NHC.
The NHC also detailed that Storm Amanda was reaching maximum sustained winds of nearly 40 miles per hour (65 kilometers per hour) and is expected to weaken “very soon” as its centre moves farther inland.
As Storm Amanda reaches deeper into land surfaces, it will lose energy and die out as it is no longer receiving heat energy and moisture from the ocean, which is needed to drive the cyclone.
The storm is forecast to degenerate into a remnant low (also known as a post-tropical cyclone) or dissipate over the mountains of Central America later on Sunday.