Floods, Landslides Kill 130 In El Salvador

Floods and landslides killed at least 130 people in El Salvador and sent 10,000 fleeing their homes today after a late-season hurricane devastated swaths of mountainous Central America.  Landslides and overflowing rivers swept away entire
floods landslides kill 130 in el salvador - India...
PTI November 10, 2009 8:20 IST

Floods and landslides killed at least 130 people in El Salvador and sent 10,000 fleeing their homes today after a late-season hurricane devastated swaths of mountainous Central America. 

Landslides and overflowing rivers swept away entire homes, while a raging torrent ripped through an large section of one town. Some of the bodies were taken to a chapel, covered in mud-caked sheets. 

"All we heard in the morning was the growl of the loud noise," Arnoldo Paz, a resident of Verapaz in the central region of the country, told AFP. 

"It was a torrent of water and mud that swept away everything in its path. All I could do was tell my wife to grab the kids and flee." 

He said the current swept his home away. 

Though Hurricane Ida did not hit El Salvador directly, it brought heavy rain that affected the entire region. Ida, now weakened to a tropical storm, was crossing the Gulf of Mexico today heading toward the United States. 

President Mauricio Funes declared a state of emergency late yesterday due to rains and flooding in the densely populated Pacific coast of the country of some seven million people. 

"Today is a very sad day for the country and its government, in fact it is one of the most tragic days in memory," Funes said in a televised address to the nation. 

Civil Protection Service Director Jorge Melendez said today the death toll had risen to 130 from 124, and that more than 10,000 people were in shelters. AFP

 
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