Mitch dissipates, leaving 1,124 dead

 

A total of 1,124 people were confirmed dead in Central America and Mexico yesterday, following heavy rains brought on by Hurricane Mitch.

Tons of mud, rocks and trees came roaring down the Casitas volcano Friday, wiping out the Nicaraguan village of Posoltega, 80 miles north-west of Managua. A total of 471 people were confirmed dead and at least 1,000 missing, the Defence Minister, Mr Pedro Joaquin Chamorro, said.

Corpses littered the ground. Heads of victims and arms of children stuck out of the mud as if pleading for help.

Authorities throughout the region appealed for aid, as rescue workers struggled to bring food and medical supplies to the thousands left homeless by Mitch. Official reports have put the death toll at 254 in Honduras, 696 in Nicaragua, 144 in El Salvador, 21 in Guatemala, seven in Costa Rica and one each in Panama and Mexico.

Across Nicaragua, flood waters left a trail of devastation, cutting off 172 villages and destroying at least 24 roads, 35 bridges and 5,066 homes, according to Managua authorities.

In Honduras, officials appealed for relief supplies for the more than 1.5 million people evacuated or stranded.