16 dead, thousands evacuated as rains lash Central America
Posted: 19 October 2008 0426 hrs
SAN JOSE - Heavy rains have left at least 16 people dead and six missing and forced about 100,000 from their homes across Central America, authorities said Saturday.
The intense rainstorms, which began last Sunday when a tropical depression settled over the region, caused havoc in several nations, smashing bridges, flooding villages and blocking roads. In some areas the storms dumped up to 38 centimeters (15 inches) of rain.
Costa Rica's Meterological Institute said the rains were the worst in over a century.
Seven storm-related deaths were reported in Costa Rica, four in Nicaragua, three in Honduras, one in El Salvador and one in Guatemala.
In Costa Rica, where an estimated 77,000 were forced from their homes, a red alert warning remains in effect across much of the country.
Some 17,000 people were evacuated in Honduras, 2,000 in Nicaragua, and 2,000 in Guatemala, officials said.
The Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Tropical Depression 16 dissipated early Friday, but warned the inundated region could still be at risk from landslides and flash floods. http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/383822/1/.html