Floods and landslides leave 40 dead in Central America

image captionGuatemala has issued a "red alert" after being battered by a tropical storm.

Two storms have hit Central America, triggering floods and landslides that have left about 40 people dead, officials said.

In Guatemala alone, at least 21 people were reported killed; six died in Nicaragua, and three in El Salvador.

As rains drenched Central America, Hurricane Jova hit Mexico's Pacific coast, leaving at least eight dead.

The United Nations said 100,000 people had been affected by flooding in Central America and Mexico.

Guatemala issued a "red alert" and reported landslides on roads and bridges badly damaged or carried away.

Tens of thousands of people there have been evacuated from their homes after three days of rain.

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said rising water levels in at least 12 rivers were threatening communities.

"I want to send a message to the people to be careful travelling on roads that are likely to collapse and get away from the river banks, because rivers are overflowing," he said, quoted in according to the Guatemala Times.

Mountainous areas of the country are particularly vulnerable to mudslides.

Officials in El Salvador said more than 2,000 people had been evacuated from flooded areas and moved to emergency shelters.

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