Seven dead in flooding as first tropical storm of season hits Central America

Flooding from storm in El Salvador

At least seven people have died and hundreds have been evacuated in El Salvador as the first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific season drenched parts of Central America, officials said.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele decreed a 15-day state of emergency to deal with the rains that began pounding the country on Friday ahead of Tropical Storm Amanda’s landfall on Sunday.

Interior Minister Mario Duran said the country was “facing a critical situation”.

He added: “The situation in all of the country and especially in the metropolitan area of San Salvador is grave.”

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour when it hit on Sunday morning, but soon dissipated as it moved overland.

By Friday evening it was about 100 miles north-east of Guatemala City, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.

Forecasters said that even though it had dissipated heavy rains could continue to fall over parts of El Salvador, Guatemala, western Honduras and south-eastern Mexico over the next few days.

El Salvador’s Civil Defence agency said at least seven people had died in the flooding, including an 8-year-old child.

San Salvador mayor Ernesto Muyshondt said 50 houses had been destroyed in the capital as rivers overflowed.

Amanda could dump 10 to 15 inches of rain over El Salvador, southern Guatemala, western Honduras and south-eastern Mexico, with lesser accumulations over parts of Nicaragua and Belize.

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