The death toll from Hurricane Iota, which has wreaked havoc in Central America since Monday, rose to over 30 on Wednesday.
The hurricane, which weakened to a tropical storm after making landfall in Nicaragua, caused landslides, destroyed infrastructure and left thousands homeless, including in areas affected by Hurricane Eta two weeks ago.
Iota had made landfall Monday as a fifth-category hurricane (catastrophic). Still, the remainder of it is expected to remain just as deadly on Thursday, even after the storm swept over El Salvador. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned of “life-threatening flooding” in parts of Central America as a result of the heavy rains.
Floods and landslides in parts of Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala can be exacerbated by the inability to absorb additional water from the soil, with potentially catastrophic consequences, the NHC said.
Nicaragua has suffered the most deaths from Hurricane Iota so far. So far, 18 people have died, including two children who tried to cross a river, the authorities said. Among the 14 dead in Honduras are five members of the same family who died when their home was engulfed in a landslide in the mud.
Two more people were killed in Colombia. A woman was killed in Panama. Authorities in El Salvador report that a motorcyclist was killed when a tree was blown over and fell on him.