February 22, 2024

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Storm Julia kills 25 people in Central America as it heads toward Mexico

Storm Julia kills 25 people in Central America as it heads toward Mexico

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – The death toll from Storm Julia rose to at least 25 on Monday, with most casualties in El Salvador and Guatemala, where the weak storm dumped heavy rains across Central and South America, officials said. Mexico.

Salvadoran authorities reported 10 deaths, including five soldiers, and said more than 1,000 people had been evacuated.

In Guatemala, eight people died between Sunday and Monday, officials said, while seven were injured and hundreds more were affected by the storm.

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Authorities in both El Salvador and Guatemala also canceled classes on Monday.

In Honduras, five cases have been confirmed, including a woman who died Sunday after being swept away by flood waters, and a four-year-old child on a boat that capsized near the Nicaragua border on Saturday night, officials said.

Panama’s emergency services confirmed later on Monday two deaths as a result of the torrential rains, with about 300 people evacuated from communities near the country’s border with Costa Rica.

Julia made landfall Sunday on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua before crossing into the Pacific Ocean.

By Monday afternoon, Julia had dissipated and the remainder of the storm was moving northwest at 15 mph (24 km/h) over Guatemala near the border with Mexico, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Miami-based NHC estimated Julia’s maximum winds at 30 mph (45 kph).

The National Precipitation Center warned of life-threatening surf and rip conditions along the coasts of El Salvador and Guatemala, while heavy rains could cause flash floods.

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An additional 1 to 4 inches of rain was forecast in El Salvador and southern Guatemala, and three to six inches over the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico.

The NHC said the storm system is expected to weaken further on Monday.

Honduran authorities added that 9,200 people had taken refuge in shelters.

In Nicaragua, Julia left 1 million people without power and torrential rains and floods forced the evacuation of more than 13,000 families.

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(Reporting by Nelson Renteria) in San Salvador; Additional reporting by Gustavo Palencia in Tegucigalpa and Elie Moreno in Panama City; Enrique Garcia of Guatemala City and Brendan Obuel of Mexico City; Editing by Richard Chang and Kim Coogle

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.