October 19th, 2011
12:45 PM ET

Central American rains a reminder of Mitch

The death toll from recent rain and flooding in Central America rose to at least 91 Wednesday as the deluge rivaled what the region witnessed during the deadly Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

The deadliness of the current disaster is much smaller than Mitch - which killed some 11,000 people - but the large amounts of rain are causing similar damage: washed out bridges, landslides, flooding and river overflows.

"We think of hurricanes as the thing that causes the most damage, but you can have rains that are just as damaging without the hurricane," Herman Rosa Chavez, El Salvador's minister of the environment and natural resources, told CNN.

Already, the rain in El Salvador has tripled the average rainfall for the month of October.

Gauges in the country were registering recent rainfall as high as 55 inches. In comparison, Hurricane Mitch dumped between 50 and 70 inches of rain in the Central American region.

"This phenomenon is of great magnitude," Rosa Chavez said.

A vital difference between the death toll now and in 1998 is that during Mitch, the rainfall came in a matter of a few days. This time, the precipitation has come over a period of more than a week.

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Filed under: Costa Rica • El Salvador • Flooding • Guatemala • Honduras • Nicaragua • Weather
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Cici

    You're an idiot Cho.....simple as that.

    October 19, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ling Cho

    You no rike us hispanics? We berry berry guud amigos. Make you some chirre con carne or encharadas. Berry guuud.

    October 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. JOSE'

    Dont worry Ling Cho. Some people like Cici are just racist. They feel threatened by us Hispanic and Latin Americans becuse we are such good cooks. I thinkk they may be jealous because we get to eat good Mexican food every day.

    October 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lorin

    I live in Santa Ana, El Salvador and for the past week have been helping provide relief for those who have either had their homes destroyed or damaged or were evacuated because of risk of mudslide. It's upsetting to see these comments in response to this article. Burritos and tacos are not a common food here in El Salvador. Many families are in difficult situations right now.

    October 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Natasha

      Our family lives in Santa Ana and San Salvador. Thank God that they are all OK. Thanks for all that you are doing to help those who have been affected. My husband and I will be praying for you and all those affected.

      October 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  5. tif31

    Take sominex tonite and sleep, safe and restful sleep, sleep, sleeeeeep.

    NITOL

    October 20, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Hypocrisy Hunter

    Lorin,

    It's great that you are trying to help people like that. Please don't get too upset about the racists. Racism is ignorance, and their "taco" and "burrito" comments prove that. To me, racists are mentally ill by definition.

    October 20, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |