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Updated: May 31, 2010 08:58 IST

Tropical storm kills 83 in Central America

AP
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A boy refuses to walk over the debris in Palin, south of Guatemala City. Torrential rains brought by tropical storm Agatha pounded Central America and southern Mexico, triggering deadly landslides. Photo: AP
AP A boy refuses to walk over the debris in Palin, south of Guatemala City. Torrential rains brought by tropical storm Agatha pounded Central America and southern Mexico, triggering deadly landslides. Photo: AP

The death toll in Central America from landslides and flooding triggered by the year’s first tropical storm surged to 83, as authorities struggled to clear roads of debris and reach cut-off communities.

Torrential rains that have pounded an area stretching from southern Mexico nearly to Nicaragua eased somewhat, as rivers continued to rise and word filtered out from isolated areas of more deaths in landslides.

In Guatemala, 73 people were killed as rains unleashed lethal landslides across the country, according to government disaster relief spokesman David de Leon.

Tropical Storm Agatha made landfall near the nation’s border with Mexico with winds up to 75 kph on Saturday and was dissipating rapidly yesterday over the mountains of western Guatemala.

In El Salvador, President Mauricio Funes warned that the danger had not yet passed and reported nine deaths.

“Although the storm appears to be diminishing in intensity, the situation across the country remains critical,” Mr. Funes said.

In Honduras, one death was linked to the weather, and a fishing boat was missing off the Pacific coast with eight aboard.

The US National Hurricane Centre in Miami warned that remnants of the storm were expected to deliver 25 to 50 centimetres of rain over southeastern Mexico, Guatemala and parts of El Salvador.

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