Accessibility links

Breaking News

Tropical Storm Agatha Kills Up to 180 in Central America

Authorities in Central America say flooding and landslides from Tropical Storm Agatha have killed nearly 180 people, and more deaths are feared as rescuers reach villages cut off by the weather.

In hardest-hit Guatemala, 152 people were reported killed and at least 100 others are missing from the weekend storm. Thousands of people remain in emergency shelters.

Guatemalan authorities were also coping with a giant sinkhole that opened up and swallowed an entire intersection in the capital.

Agatha was the first tropical storm of the 2010 eastern Pacific hurricane season.

The rescue effort in Guatemala has been complicated by last week's eruption of the Pacaya volcano, which coated parts of Guatemala City with ash, forcing the closure of the international airport.

The European Union has granted $3.6 million in emergency aid for victims of the tropical storm.

EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said the bloc will continue to monitor the situation closely in case further needs arise.

In Honduras, at least 17 people died due to the storm, while in El Salvador, 10 people were killed and more than 8,700 evacuated after nearly 200 landslides.

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

Tropical Storm Agatha pounded Central America and Mexico Saturday and Sunday after coming ashore near the Guatemala-Mexico border.

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