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Environment

Guatemala estimates November hurricane damages at $770 million

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemala suffered damages worth just over 6 billion quetzales ($770 million) because of the ravages of Hurricanes Eta and Iota in November last year, the government said on Wednesday.

The storms, which also devastated parts of neighboring Honduras and Nicaragua, killed 61 people, injured 30 others and left 99 missing in Guatemala, the government said. More than 310,000 people also had to be evacuated in Guatemala.

The losses are comparable to the combined budget for the interior and economy ministries of Guatemala, which is under pressure to stem migration to the United States by people looking for better job prospects than their homeland can offer.

Fallout from the hurricanes is expected to crimp economic growth, and they have already prompted an increase in migrant traffic from Central America towards the U.S. border.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has vowed to work with Mexico to try to address the causes of migration in the region.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; editing by Grant McCool

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