« Home | Iran supposedly supplying Iraqi insurgents with so... » | Moss dross: will it ever stop? » | Prisons being used as a dumping ground for the men... » | Media and police distortions of a brothel raid. » | Former UDA leader murdered. » | Bush picks completely unknown quantity for supreme... » | UK approaches Libya over deportation agreements. » | Sun-watch: allegations of celebrity worship. » | Bali. » | Moss dross continues in advert form. » 

Friday, October 07, 2005 

Hurricane who?

You'd be forgiven for not realising that a hurricane has been battering Central America with heavy rain for days now, as the coverage of the event has been non-existent. Maybe the media are all hurricaned out after both Katrina and Rita, but Stan is turning out to be much more deadly than the latter:

Rescuers are continuing their search for hundreds of people missing after mudslides caused by Tropical Storm Stan hit Central America and Mexico.

The death toll in Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and southern Mexico has reached 244 amid fears that it will rise further.

Reports from worst-hit Guatemala say hundreds are still missing. In one town alone, 40 died in a mudslide.

More rain, blocked roads and collapsed bridges are hampering rescue efforts.

Across the region, an unknown number of people remain trapped in their houses, correspondents say.

Entire villages have been completely wiped out by landslides and flash floods.

Some 200,000 people have been forced to flee their homes.

Stan slammed ashore as a Category One hurricane in southern Mexico on Tuesday.

Despite being downgraded to a tropical depression by the end of the day, it triggered major flooding and landslides in the region.

Guatemala has so far recorded at least 146 dead.

The country's civil protection agency said 40 bodies were recovered from a town on the edge of Santiago Atitlan in the Mayan highlands, popular with Western visitors.

Reports in the local media say many people are still missing in the town.

"There are still a lot of people to be found, some 150 to 200," said Pedro Mendoza, a local taking part in rescue efforts.

"The landslide was on Wednesday but because the roads are blocked, no-one can get through to help us."

In Quezaltenango, the second most important city, people are still trapped in what remains of their homes as flood waters have reached up to two metres (6ft) high, correspondents say.

Guatemalan President Oscar Berger has asked Congress to declare a state of emergency.

In El Salvador, at least 65 people are known to have died. Officials said nearly 54,000 others had been evacuated to 370 shelters throughout the country, despite difficulties in travelling along many of the country's roads.

"The ground is saturated and we could have more tragedies," warned Salvadoran Red Cross spokesman Carlos Lopez Mendoza.

Mexico was also struck by the weather system, which has killed at least 17 people and caused at least 30 rivers to burst their banks.

The country is sending aid to El Salvador after a personal plea by Salvadoran President Tony Saca.

Mexican officials said the air force was preparing to deliver 200 metric tons of food and 30 metric tons of emergency supplies.

If over 200 had died in Rita, the coverage would have gone on for days rather than the few hours after its arrival, once it was realised that it was a lot less destructive than previously predicted. To paraphrase Kanye West, the media doesn't care about brown people.

Share |

Links to this post

Create a Link