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People wade through the water in a flooded area in Panzos, Alta Verapaz, in Guatemala. Photo: Johan Ordonez/AFP

At least 150 are believed to be dead or missing in Guatemala after Tropical Depression Eta brought torrential rain to Central America, triggering devastating flooding and mudslides, per Reuters.

The big picture: Eta, which made landfall in Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday, was expected to strengthen overnight as it moved northeast toward Cuba, the Cayman Islands, parts of the Bahamas and southern Florida, the National Hurricane Center said late on Friday.

The state of play: Rescue efforts continued Friday across Guatemala and Honduras where homes have been buried under mud and villages cut off due to flooded roadways and washed out bridges.

  • Guatemalan army spokesperson Ruben Tellez said Friday that at least 150 houses were buried under mud in the remote village of Queja, located in the central department of Alta Verapaz, per Reuters.
  • Guatemalan officials added the death toll could climb as roughly 150 are believed to be dead or missing in Queja alone.
  • At least 23 people have been killed in Honduras, officials said Friday evening, per Reuters. Many people in Honduras remained trapped on the roofs of their homes.

What they're saying:

  • Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández tweeted on Friday: "We will not stop reaching the last corner of the country where [the people] need us."
  • Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei wrote on Twiter: "I want to tell Guatemalans that they are not alone, we are united ... I have faith that we are going to rise up, because our will is greater than any natural disaster."

What to watch: Tropical storm conditions are expected this weekend in parts of the Cayman Islands and Cuba, NHC said.

  • “There is an increasing risk of impacts from wind and flash and urban flooding due to heavy rainfall in portions of southern Florida, the Florida Keys, and portions of the Bahamas this weekend and early next week,” NHC added.
  • Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared state of emergency on Friday in anticipation of the storm's arrival.
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 12, 2020 - Science

Tropical Storm Eta brings more heavy rains and storm surge to Florida

A cyclist rides through the flooded street during heavy rain and wind as Tropical Storm Eta approaches the south of Florida, in Miami, Florida, for on Monday. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Tropical Storm Eta was unleashing more strong winds, heavy rains and "dangerous storm surge" over parts of Florida early Thursday, ahead of an expected second landfall in the state, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Eta was pummeling Florida's west coast overnight after briefly strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane offshore from the state's southwest. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) tweeted Wednesday evening that FEMA had granted his request for a pre-landfall emergency declaration.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."