Page Visited: 48
Read Time:1 Minute, 24 Second
Hurricane Eta has unleashed torrential rains and catastrophic flooding across Central America, with deaths surging on Thursday.
Many affected areas witnessed streets turning into rivers as dozens more people were feared to be buried in their homes by mudslides.
Over seventy people were killed across the region, and hundreds were stranded on rooftops or cut off by floods.
In Guatemala, the death toll jumped past fifty over the course of Thursday, according to President Alejandro Giammattei, who said mudslides around the town of San Cristobal Verapaz had swallowed about twenty-five homes.
In neighboring Honduras, families waded through flooded streets of the northern city of San Pedro Sula, while cars sat almost submerged in parts of the central Guatemalan city of San Pedro Carcha, TV footage and social media images showed.
Hundreds of people were left stranded on roofs in Honduras as frantic rescue efforts played out, which were credited with taking around 500 people to safety.
“We will not leave the area until we rescue the last person,” Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez told local television. He added that rescue efforts led by police, soldiers and firefighters would continue overnight.
Damage and destruction had spread across most of Honduras and speedboats and helicopters would be sent to take people to safety in inaccessible areas,
Mr. Hernandez said earlier.
One of the fiercest storms to hit Central America in years, Eta struck Nicaragua as a Category 4 hurricane on Tuesday with winds of 241 kilometres per hour before weakening to a tropical depression as it moved inland.
By Thursday, authorities confirmed at least seven deaths in Honduras. Media in Nicaragua also reported two miners had died in a mudslide.