Ida floods kill at least 50 in El Salvador
Heavy rains caused by Hurricane Ida have killed at least 50 people and left several others missing in El Salvador, civil protection officials said Sunday.
The authorities have declared a state of emergency in five regions. Minister Humberto Centeno says the deaths happened in at least five of the 14 provinces of the mountainous Central American country.
Ida, a Category 1 hurricane, churning in the western Caribbean, was barreling toward Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula early Sunday, bringing torrential rains and flooding of up to four feet (1.2 meters) above sea level in some areas. Ida’s maximum winds were near 90-mph (150 km/hr) with higher gusts.
“Unfortunately we have to report the number of dead has increased because of the rains, we now count 50 individuals,” the head of El Salvador’s civil protection service, Jorge Melendez told AFP. He also said that at least two dozen of the deaths ocurred in the central San Vicente province.
On Thursday, while still a tropical storm, heavy rains from Ida destroyed an estimated of 930 homes, leaving 13,000 people homeless.
Forecasters said flooding was also possible in Western Cuba, with isolated amounts of 10 inches possible in some spots. The US National Weather Service in Miami Florida said Sunday that Ida was expected to produce “large and destructive waves” across the affected region.
Ida is the ninth named storm in the Atlantic region. The Atlantic hurricane season ends on 30 November.