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INSIDECENTRALAMERICA | Tuesday 28 September 2010

Matthew Leaves 8 Dead in Central America & Mexico

TEGUCIGALPA - Tropical Storm Matthew left at least eight people dead and badly damaged housing, infrastructure and agribusiness in Central America and Mexico over the weekend, according to preliminary reports on Monday.

The storm made landfall on Friday at the mouth of the Coco River, on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, and from there continued on to Honduras, Belize and Mexico.

In Nicaragua, the Civil Defense in Puerto Cabezas reported fisherman Adolfo Watson was missing after giant waves sunk his boat.

In Honduras, the storm affected 6,000 people in eight departments and damaged 172 homes, nine bridges, and 32 roads and ruined extensive areas of rice, banana and sugarcane crops.

Although Matthew did not enter El Salvador, associated rains caused the death of one man, who was dragged away by a river in the department of La Libertad Department, while another young man went missing in a ravine.

The storm's remnant clouds and humidity brought rainfall all over Honduras and soil saturation was making the country vulnerable, according to Civil Protection director Jorge MelÚndez.

The storm also hit southern Belize and the departments of Izabal, PetÚn and Las Verapaces in Guatemala, but no fatalities were reported.

Still, Guatemala's Disaster Reduction National Coordinator reported 5,917 victims and 1,070 damaged homes, including 2,000 with slight damage, 37 moderate and 31 at-risk.

Five people were killed in Chiapas and two in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, after Matthew entered that country on Saturday from Belize, affecting the states of Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz, Campeche and Nuevo Leon as a tropical depression.



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