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El Salvador torrential rain toll rises
The News - Natural Disasters
October 17, 2011
el salvador torrential rain flooding disaster

Mudslides and road chaos have killed 81 people and forced thousands to abandon their homes in Central America.

The death toll from torrential rains in Central America over the past week has almost doubled since Saturday, with a further 25 lives lost in El Salvador.

A tropical depression that swept in from the Pacific on Wednesday caused mudslides and chaos on roads and forced thousands of people to abandon their homes in the chain of countries between Mexico and South America, killing 81 so far.

On Saturday, the death toll stood at 45 in the region, home to some of the poorest countries in the Americas. El Salvador, a nation of about 6 million people, was the worst affected overnight, with accidents pushing up the number of victims there to 32. [Guardian]

"The situation has got even worse. It's still raining heavily in various parts of the country," El Salvador's president, Mauricio Funes, said in an address late on Sunday.

Many of those killed in the country died in mudslides, an official from the local emergency services said.

The rainfall was so strong in the area around the municipality of Ciudad Arce, north-west of San Salvador, that rescue operations had to be suspended for a time.

Guatemala reported that its death toll had risen to 28, while the total rose to 13 in Honduras. At least eight people have also died in Nicaragua. No deaths were reported in Costa Rica, though dozens of families have been evacuated.

Rain was still falling in parts of the region. The weather has also hit south-eastern Mexico, where swollen rivers have affected thousands of people, notably in Tabasco state.

At least four people died in Mexico last week when the category two hurricane Jova struck from the Pacific, forcing the country's busiest port to close.

 
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