El Salvador declares 15-day state of emergency after tropical storm

Seven dead in flooding as first storm of season hits central America

View of houses devastated by the overflowing of a creek due to the torrential rains caused by the passage of tropical storm Amanda in San Salvador. Photo by Yuri Cortez/ AFP via Getty Images

View of houses devastated by the overflowing of a creek due to the torrential rains caused by the passage of tropical storm Amanda in San Salvador. Photo by Yuri Cortez/ AFP via Getty Images

 

At least seven people have died and hundreds have been evacuated in El Salvador as the first tropical storm of the Eastern Pacific season drenched parts of Central America, officials said.

El Salvador president Nayib Bukele decreed a 15-day state of emergency to deal with the rains that began pounding the country on Friday ahead of Tropical Storm Amanda’s landfall on Sunday.

The country’s interior minister Mario Duran said the country was “facing a critical situation”.

He added: “The situation in all of the country and especially in the metropolitan area of San Salvador is grave.”

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 64km per hour when it hit on Sunday morning, but soon dissipated as it moved overland.

By Friday evening it was about 160km north-east of Guatemala City, according to the US National Hurricane Centre.

Forecasters said that even though it had dissipated heavy rains could continue to fall over parts of El Salvador, Guatemala, western Honduras and south-eastern Mexico over the next few days.

El Salvador’s Civil Defence agency said at least seven people had died in the flooding, including an 8-year-old child.

San Salvador mayor Ernesto Muyshondt said 50 houses had been destroyed in the capital as rivers overflowed.

Amanda could dump 10 to 15 inches of rain over El Salvador, southern Guatemala, western Honduras and south-eastern Mexico, with lesser accumulations over parts of Nicaragua and Belize. – AP