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At least 2 dead in tropical storm in Nicaragua

May 30, 2008

Sixteen consecutive hours of intense rains unleashed by Tropical Storm “ Alma ” caused flooding in neighborhoods in Managua and across the Pacific coast yesterday as authorities canceled school and put the country on alert for hurricane conditions.Nicaraguan media reported that two people died during the storm, one man in a car accident and another who was electrocuted by a fallen cable. Civil defense rescue workers evacuated several poor neighborhoods in Managua, as floodwaters filled the streets and entered homes.Alma, the first named storm of the year, formed off the Pacific coast with winds around 100 kilometers per hour as it approached the northern Pacific coast of Nicaragua, near León. The storm, as of yesterday afternoon, had dumped some 50 millimeters of water on Managua and 70mm on the northern department of León in less than 24 hours.Reports early in the day suggested that the storm would reach hurricane status, but as of yesterday afternoon it was still listed as a tropical storm.Preliminary damage reports revealed flooding and structural damage to homes, mostly in marginalized and poor neighborhoods built along riverbeds and drainages, and to some electrical and water infrastructure. Authorities urged residents to stock up on drinking water in the event water services are not restored quickly.

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