Although thousands were evacuated from their homes, the damage sustained on Sunday when remnants of the tropical storm unloaded torrential rains over southern Mexico, and parts of Central America (Belize and Guatemala) was less than expected.
On Sunday a senior emergency services official in Guatemala said that although people had been evacuated from eastern towns, “Up to now there have been no reports of deaths or wounded.”
Flooding resulting from the storm killed seven people in Caracas, Venezuela on Friday. Matthew had already weakened, with winds dropping to 40 mph, when it struck the northern coast of Honduras Saturday morning. Nevertheless, approximately 6,600 people in eight of the country’s coastal provinces were forced out of their homes by the storm and flooding. By Sunday, Matthew’s maximum sustained winds had dropped to 25 mph.
Even after tropical storm Matthew passes, heavy rains are expected to continue over parts of Central America. The National Hurricane Center says there is a low (20%) chance that a new tropical wave in the northwestern Caribbean Sea could turn into a tropical storm over the coming 48 hours. Hurricane Hunter aircraft will investigate the system Monday.
Computer models suggest that the new tropical wave over the Caribbean Sea will move rapidly to the north, possibly towards Cuba and Florida. It is too early for an accurate forecast of system strength.
Tropical storm Matthew was the 13th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic Hurricane Season.