Death and destruction as Eta batters Central America

Tegucigalpa, Nov 5 (AFP/APP):Tropical Storm Eta pushed into Honduras on Wednesday after leaving behind a trail of destruction in Nicaragua, where it made landfall the day before as a Category Four hurricane.

At least four people — two in Nicaragua and two in Honduras — were killed as Eta dumped heavy rain that unleashed widespread flooding and landslides, officials said. The US National Hurricane Center said Wednesday that Eta had weakened to a tropical depression, but continued to warn of “life-threatening flash flooding” over portions of Central America. Honduras’ emergency response commission COPECO said 3,000 people had been evacuated from their homes in the path of the storm.

Landslides swept away roads and at least five bridges, and the highway linking the capital Tegucigalpa with second city San Pedro Sula was cut off by a mudslide, it said. COPECO warned people living near river banks to evacuate. Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez called for solidarity to overcome the challenges caused by the destruction.

Authorities evacuated around 700 prisoners in the city of El Progreso, north of the capital, after the site was swamped by rain. In neighboring La Lima, hundreds of families fled their homes and took refuge in makeshift plastic and sheet metal shelters erected along a highway median.

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