November 8, 2009 / 8:08 PM / in 8 years

In El Salvador 91 die in floods caused by hurricane

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - At least 91 people have been killed and another 60 or more are missing after floods and mudslides in El Salvador triggered by Hurricane Ida, the government said on Sunday.

<p>A Salvadoran sits on a car damaged by heavy rains in San Salvador November 8, 2009. REUTERS/William Bonilla</p>

The nation’s Interior Minister Humberto Centeno called it “a tragedy” and said rescue workers were still struggling to reach some of the worst affected areas.

“Up until noon there have been, sadly, 91 deaths in all five (affected) provinces. There are 60 people missing in just the province of San Vicente,” Centeno told a news conference.

Ida has regained strength after crossing land and re-entering the Caribbean Sea. It is now a Category 2 hurricane and is poised to enter the Gulf of Mexico, where important oil and gas fields are located.

Heavy rains began falling on El Salvador on Saturday night as the storm moved through. Rivers burst their banks and mudslides in the country’s hilly interior cut roads and buried houses.

Officials warned further rains was possible but should dissipate by Monday.

Reporting by Nelson Renteria; writing by Robert Campbell; editing by Chris Wilson

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