89 Die in Central America Rains

Mexico City, Oct 17 (IANS): At least 89 people have been killed and some 350,000 affected as a week of devastating torrential rain continued in Central America.

Days of non-stop rains provoked a wave of mudslides in the region. Presidents of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have called a state of emergency, reported Xinhua.

El Salvador President Mauricio Funes put the death toll at 32, adding that more than 20,000 people had been evacuated to shelters.

Honduras President Porfirio Lobo appealed for "solidarity" among all Hondurans to extend a helping hand to those suffering.

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said: "We have decided to declare a state of public calamity for the entire country before the magnitude of the disaster happens."

Latest figures showed the toll in Guatemala rose to 28 after five more bodies were retrieved from mudslides.

Meanwhile, according to the Universal paper, the toll in Mexico rose to nine. Three more deaths in Honduras took the death toll there to 13, while Nicaragua's death toll remained unchanged at seven.

Official figures show at least 350,000 people have been affected across the region, including 132,700 in Mexico, 65,000 in El Salvador, 30,000 in Honduras, 12,000 in Nicaragua, 10,000 in Costa Rica and 800 in Panama.

According to weather forecasts, intense rain is expected to continue for at least a day across southern Mexico and Central America and could extend to as far as Cuba, Jamaica and nearby islands in the Caribbean.


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Title: 89 Die in Central America Rains

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