Heavy rains are flooding major swaths of Guyana's coastal capital and other low-lying areas.

Meteorologists say more than 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain has fallen on the South American nation's capital of Georgetown in less than 24 hours. More rain is forecast on Friday.

President David Granger called an emergency Cabinet meeting Thursday to discuss measures to drain the capital and other areas.

In drenched Georgetown, state buildings have been transformed into emergency shelters. Residents have been asked to avoid non-essential travel.

Private radio and television stations have been knocked off the air. The University of Guyana cancelled classes.

Guyana is particularly prone to flooding because much of its coastal plains are below sea level. The capital is protected by an elaborate system of canals, drains and seawalls.