Monday, June 27, 2005

At least 35 dead in El Salvador rainstorms

Heavy rains produced flooding in El Salvador. As of Monday afternoon the death toll was 35 according to La Prensa Grafica. From Reuters AlertNet

CUISNAHUAT, El Salvador, June 27 (Reuters) - At least 23 people have died and more than 17 are missing after rainstorms lashed El Salvador over the weekend, swelling rivers and triggering mudslides, authorities said on Monday.

Twenty of those killed were traveling in a bus that was swept away on Sunday night by an overflowing river in a rural area near the town of Cuisnahuat, southeast of the capital San Salvador, national emergency services committee COEN said.

Rescue workers, who were still searching for other passengers, said the bus had been carrying more than 40 people including members of a soccer team and their supporters.

'We have managed to find 20 bodies, 10 last night and 10 today, and there are 17 that we have not found,' Jorge Abrego, mayor of Cuisnahuat, told local radio.

COEN said a mother and two young girls also died when a mudslide buried their home on the outskirts of the village of Comasagua in the central province of La Libertad.

Local radio reported other fatalities from mudslides.

Flooding and mudslides are common in Central America during the rainy season which runs from around May to October.

El Salvador was hit by Central America's first hurricane of the season last month, when Hurricane Adrian made landfall on its Pacific coast.

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