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Agatha pounds Central America

Agatha pounds Central America
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Tropical Storm Agatha has claimed more than 70 lives in Central America and forecasters predict the heavy rains will continue for several more days.

Swollen rivers burst under the strain as 1 metre of rain fell on parts of Guatemala forcing 80,000 people to flee their homes.

Many fear the torrential downpour could seriously damage the coffee crop in Guatemala, the region’s biggest producer, and El Salvador where the storm pounded plantations.

Meanwhile emergency refuge centres have been set up as the authorities warn of further mud slides

Guatemala is already trying to cope with the ash pumping out of the Pacaya volcano south of the capital, which has blocked drainage systems in Guatemala City exacerbating the flooding.

The volcano, which erupted on Thursday, has already forced a shutdown of the country’s main airport and its expected to remain closed until at least Tuesday.