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Floods, Landslides Kill at Least 132 in Central America

Flooding and landslides triggered by the first tropical storm of the 2010 eastern Pacific hurricane season have killed at least 132 people in Central America.

Rescue crews continued searching for survivors in rural areas late Monday after rains from Tropical Storm Agatha pounded the region Saturday and Sunday.

Guatemala was the hardest hit, with at least 109 people killed, many from mudslides.  Dozens of others are still missing and 110,000 people have been moved to shelters.

Officials say nine people were killed in El Salvador, where 179 landslides were reported and more than 8,700 people evacuated.   The storm killed at least 14 people in Honduras, where more rain is expected.

Agatha, which has weakened to a tropical depression, made landfall near the Guatemala-Mexico border Saturday with winds of 75 kilometers per hour.

The intense rainfall has led to fears over the condition of the coffee crop in Guatemala, the region's biggest producer.

Thousands of people in Guatemala had already been evacuated due to the eruption of the Pacaya volcano, which killed at least one person.  The volcano, just south of Guatemala City, began spewing lava and rocks Thursday and forced the country's main airport to close.

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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