Storms leave 27 dead in Central America, Mexico

Storms leave 27 dead in Central America, Mexico

Central America alone accounted for 22 of those dead and 60,000 people made homeless by the storms, according to local authorities and emergency services.

Another five people were killed in Mexico, where Hurricane Jova's torrential rains forced at least 4,000 people to leave their homes.

The storms triggered heavy flooding, blocked roads, and caused electricity outages and mudslides. Many homes were destroyed.

In hard-hit Guatemala, where 15 people died and over 52,000 were forced from their homes, torrential rains destroyed and carried away bridges.

Four people remained missing, Vice President Rafael Espada said, urging residents to avoid unnecessary travel over the next 48 hours, with more rain expected.

Heavy rains caused landslides on several major highways in the Central American country, which saw 274 people die from flooding and landslides last year during the heaviest rainfall of the last 60 years.

Rescuers recovered a total of seven bodies in El Salvador and Nicaragua, while Honduras and Costa Rica suffered only property damage.

In Mexico, Jova roared ashore as a strong category two hurricane Tuesday before weakening to a tropical storm.

Officials recovered the body of a man swept away by a river in Jalisco state, which was hit hard by the storm. Authorities said a 21-year-old woman and her five-year old daughter were killed in a landslide in the small community of Melaque, and two others died in Tomatlan.

Jova battered Mexico just as thousands of athletes began arriving for the Pan American Games, which begin today in Guadalajara, the Jalisco state capital more than 100 kilometres from the coast.

Authorities have insisted that the games, one of the premier events on the global sports calendar, would not be affected though some venues required last-minute repairs.
The remnants of the hurricane were breaking up over the northwest state of Nayarit, Mexican forecasters said.

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