El Salvador reports 11 dead as heavy rains lash Central America

By ReutersJune 18, 202411:19 AM GMT+8 Updated 3 hours ago

SAN SALVADOR, June 17 (Reuters) – Some 11 people have died in El Salvador due to torrential rains that have lashed Central America’s Pacific coast since the weekend, civil protection authorities said on Monday, while nearly 900 people are still in temporary shelters.

Civil Protection chief Luis Amaya said the victims, which include children, died as a result of landslides or accidents caused by trees falling onto roads.

“If you are asked to evacuate, do it. If you live near a slope, move to a safe area,” Amaya told a news conference. “The number one priority is to be safe.”

The rains have soaked swathes of land across the Pacific coast from southern Mexico down to western Panama. Forecasters have predicted more rain through the week, and warned this could be exacerbated by a storm that is soon forecast to form over the Gulf of Mexico.

In neighboring Honduras, authorities also launched evacuations and said over 5,000 have been affected, largely due to flooding in the hard-hit southern department of Valle, which borders El Salvador.

As far south as Panama, authorities emitted alerts but reported no serious damages.

Videos shared on social media from across the region showed streets flooded with fast-flowing water, fallen trees, families and pets evacuating onto trucks and emergency responders working through the night to clear roadways.

Both the Pacific and Atlantic have entered the start of their hurricane seasons. The Atlantic’s is forecast to be especially active due to a combination of effects from the La Nina weather pattern and warmer ocean waters.

SOURCE: https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/el-salvador-reports-11-dead-heavy-rains-lash-central-america-2024-06-17/

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