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13 killed as heavy rains pound Central America

Thirteen people have died in flooding and landslides in El Salvador and Guatemala as heavy rains pound Central America, authorities from the two countries said.

In El Salvador, the hardest hit country so far, five people died Monday in a landslide in the western district of Tacuba, in the department of Ahuachapan, Civil defense chief Luis Amaya said, AFP reports.

Those deaths follow two fatalities recorded on Sunday after a tree and a pole fell on a car that was traveling on a highway in the capital.

Another four people were killed in flooding and landslides between Friday and Sunday, Amaya added.

On Sunday, Congress approved a state of emergency to facilitate the mobilization of resources.

President Nayib Bukele said on X that he had asked Congress to make Tuesday a federal holiday to avoid commutes and “reduce the risk of tragedies.”

Rains have been slamming both countries since Saturday.

In Guatemala, a 59-year-old woman and a 68-year-old man died on Sunday in the village of Chacaya, in the western municipality Sacapulas, when they were buried by a collapsed wall, authorities said.

Dozens to hundreds die each year in Central America as the rainy season leaves extensive damage to countries’ infrastructure.

Additionally, the death toll from a landslide in Ecuador rose from six to seven people, with 22 others injured, authorities said Monday.

The landslide was triggered by heavy rains in the tourist Tungurahua province in southern Ecuador.